Meredian ‘curtails’ operations

Published 3:31 pm Friday, June 7, 2013

Operations at Bainbridge-based Meredian, Inc. have been temporarily curtailed as its leadership searches for additional funding.

Blake Lindsey, President of Meredian, said on Thursday via a press release that this action was necessary to reduce costs as the management team focuses on securing the appropriate capital funding to complete the final stages of the Meredian production facility.

Meredian’s 190,000-square-foot plant is located in the former American Fibers & Yarn facility at the Decatur County Industrial Park, off U.S. Highway 27 North.

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Meredian’s business is making bioplastic pellets, which can be melted down and transformed into other products. Meredian’s product would typically be used to make food service items in single-use packaging, company officials said previously.

As a result of the cut back in operations, Meredian let go 17 employees and now has a staff of nine.

Lindsey indicated that the company negotiated with a potential investor to supply the needed funding, but the negotiations did not yield an agreement, leading to the curtailment to reduce costs.

“While we are disappointed in reporting this pause in our progress, our Meredian team recognizes this as a temporary challenge in our path to our successful implementation of a world class production system supporting the world’s largest PHA production facility,” said Dr. Daniel Carraway, co-founder and CEO of Meredian, Inc.

“Our community, our teammates and our customers remain highly supportive of our goals and confident in our efforts to achieve them. We very much appreciate that support.”

Meredian held a grand opening for its manufacturing facility in October 2012.

At that time, the company stated it had more than $32 million of outside investment and was expecting to grow rapidly.

Five million dollars of its funding for their pilot plant came through the No Markets Tax Credits Program through the U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation. Another $10 million came from a guaranteed U.S. Department of Agriculture loan provided as part of the federal government’s stimulus package of 2008, Bishop said.

According to the press release, Danimer Scientific, Meredian’s sister company, remains in full operation and will continue to serve its global customers.