CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 17, 2011)—Yulex Corp., manufacturer of hypoallergenic natural rubber latex from the desert shrub guayule, has moved into a new facility in Chandler and plans to produce latex and bioenergy feedstocks from the plant by early 2012.
The 60,000-sq.-ft. facility, known as “Demeter” within the company, was financed by $15 million in private funding from Argonaut Private Equity, according to Yulex. The new facility is located in the Lone Butte Industrial Park within the Gila River Indian Community and consists of two buildings on five acres of land. Yulex has the potential to expand on as much as 20 acres, as needed, according to a press release.
The Gila River location offers Yulex both tax savings and Enterprise Zone status, Yulex said.
Yulex staff already has moved into the office space at Demeter, and production equipment is being moved into the production space. according to Jeff Martin, Yulex president and CEO. The company has also started to hire production line workers, he said.
“We expect to have 60 full-time employees at Demeter,” Martin said. “We've already started training some workers at our existing plant in Maricopa, which we have designated 'Ceres.'”
Ceres will remain open after Demeter comes on-stream, Martin said. In addition to production workers, Yulex is recruiting key executives in product development, marketing and engineering, but isn't ready to announce any names as yet, he said.
In December 2010, Yulex signed an agreement with Arizona Grain Inc. Under that agreement, Arizona Grain is responsible for overseeing the efforts of more than 600 guayule growers through the desert shrub's entire life cycle, according to Martin.