Alltech to close Winchester facility
Alltech Algae notified city officials Friday morning it would close its Winchester facility.
Winchester Industrial Development Director Todd Denham said he was notified by the company this morning that the closure would be “effective immediately.”
According to the company, the decision gives the company more flexibility.
‘Our Alltech Algae facility in Winchester, Kentucky, has served as a pilot plant for industry-changing innovations in animal nutrition that we plan to continue to drive forward,” the company said in a statement. “However, with our continued commitment to operational excellence and efficiency, we feel the need to move to a more flexible, less constrained production arrangement for algae. As such, we are ceasing production at the Alltech Algae facility in Winchester.”
The company said it would work with the 20 employees at Winchester to find other employment within the company or outside.
“They are highly skilled individuals, and we have deeply appreciated their service with us,” the company said.
Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner and Denham said they met with company officials about a year ago and was told Alltech was scaling its operations back at the facility.
“It is not totally unexpected but it is disappointing,” Burtner said. “I’m not sure what prompted all this.”
“They explained they had to cut back and were looking to the future about plans for the facility,” Denham said.
Alltech, a biotechnology company, purchased the facility in September 2010 from Martek Bioscience, which specialized in algae fermentation. Martek decided to move its production to South Carolina.
Alltech officially opened in April 2011 and continued fermenting algae for aquaculture and for use in animal feed.
When Alltech officially opened in Winchester, company officials said they planned to employ 50 people and produce 10,000 tons of dried algae annually.
Denham said the building has been occupied since it was originally built and is hopeful it will be again.
“We do feel for the employees,” Denham said. “We will continue to work to recruit other industries. Hopefully they can find meaningful employment.”
“It’s another facility we’ll be able to market,” Burtner said. “We’ll do everything in our power to get another industry in there.”