The Crusader Newspaper Group

Fulcrum BioEnergy selects Gary for new plant

Plant to bring over 1,000 jobs to the city

By Giavonni Nickson

December 13, 2018, was a monumental day for the city of Gary and the state of Indiana.

Jim Macias, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fulcrum BioEnergy received an official welcome to the Hoosier family.

Fulcrum BioEnergy selected Gary, Indiana for the location of its Centerpoint BioFuels Plant, which will convert municipal solid waste into low-carbon, renewable transportation fuel.

“Launching our business in Indiana is an important next step in expanding Fulcrum’s capabilities to new cities rich in innovation and opportunity,” said Jim Macias.

Fulcrum’s Centerpoint plant in Gary will be the company’s second waste-to-fuels plant. In late 2017, Fulcrum began construction on the Sierra BioFuels Plant located near Reno, Nevada. When the Sierra plant starts operations in early 2020, it will be the first commercial-scale waste-to-fuels plant in the United States.

Gary Councilman at Large Ronald
PICTURED FROM LEFT-RIGHT: Fulcrum President and CEO Jim Macias, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Gary Councilman at Large Ronald Brewer, Indiana Secretary of Commerce James Schellinger, and Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson at Gary’s City Hall. (photograph by Ted Brown)

Construction in Gary is expected to begin in 2020 and will take approximately 18-24 months to complete. Once operational, the Centerpoint plant will divert and process approximately 700,000 tons of waste from the greater Chicago area.

The processed waste will be converted offsite into a prepared feedstock and will produce approximately 33 million gallons of fuel annually. Centerpoint will deploy Fulcrum’s proprietary process which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% when compared to conventional fossil fuels.

According to Macias, “Fulcrum’s municipal solid waste-to-fuels process will help reduce the impacts from climate change and boost the economy by producing low-carbon transportation fuel as well as bringing high-paying jobs and investment to northwest Indiana.”

With a $600 million investment, Fulcrum will generate hundreds of jobs in the region, creating 160 full-time operational jobs and 900 construction jobs.

Fulcrum plans to locate in the Buffington Harbor section of the city, an area already home to numerous industrial companies. Much of the jet fuel produced in Gary will supply the United Airlines hub in Chicago, as the airline has pledged to voluntarily reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent before the year 2050.

“Today is a great day for Gary and one that will have a significant impact on the city and surrounding communities for years to come,” said Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. “The state’s strong roots in manufacturing paired with an emerging tech sector make Indiana the ideal destination for innovative companies like Fulcrum that are developing 21st-century solutions and changing the way we address today’s challenges. This new waste-to-fuels plant is a huge win for the city of Gary and the Hoosier workforce across northwest Indiana.”

“Days like this come in the city because people are working in and out of city hall to make things happen on behalf of the citizens of Gary,” said Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.

In recent weeks, there has been a string of major economic development announcements in Gary. Illinois based Alliance Steel announced a $19.7 million investment plan. This announcement promised the creation of over 100 jobs in a newly equipped 250,000 square foot facility.

Gary Councilman Ronald Brewer said, “This is a great next step for the city of Gary and the state of Indiana. I’m glad to see that Gary is a part of building the workforce for the state of Indiana. We have been making base hits, but we are now making home runs with Alliance Steel and now Fulcrum. Through the workmanship of our council and our Mayor, there is nothing that we cannot achieve in the city of Gary.”

Once upon a time, the city of Gary was the economic engine in all of Indiana.

With excellent infrastructure, assets, prime location, a skilled workforce, and supportive communities, Gary is leveraging innovative partnerships on the path of economic revival as it builds a prominent future.

The collective work of city and state government has been impressive.

“The more we work and personally get to know the city of Gary we are impressed with their professionalism and the alignment of interest between the city and the state of Indiana. It’s nice to see such synergy between city and state agencies,” said Masias.

Governor Holcomb explains, “Our actions and deeds show that we can work together across party lines at local and state government levels, it’s the Hoosier way.”

“The attraction of new businesses that provide an entrée into new sectors has been a focus of our economic development team,” said Mayor Freeman-Wilson. “Our objective is to create jobs while raising the city’s assessed valuation. With a significant capital investment and noteworthy job creation, Fulcrum is a great example of the success of these efforts. This does not happen without the commitment and investment from Governor Holcomb and our partners in state government.”

As stated by Governor Holcomb, “When Gary wins, Indiana wins.”

For more information on Fulcrum Bioenergy, visit the company’s website at

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