By Jeff Harrison
Wet weather canceled the groundbreaking for Centrillium Proteins.
But not the celebration.
The new food processing company hosted an indoor “groundbreaking” ceremony last week at Midwest City Council Chambers. Centrillium plans to build a $70 million production facility on the city’s north side. The 102,000-square-foot facility is expected to employ more than 100 people.
Centrillium is building its new facility in the 7200 block of NE 36TH St. The company will provide meat for restaurants and retailers, as well as contract work for larger customers. They will also produce tallow, or animal fat, which will be used for production of pet food and renewable and biodiesel.
Local and state leaders welcomed Centrillium at the July 11 event.
Mayor Matt Dukes said Centrillium will bring “prime jobs and meaningful productivity” to the community, while enriching the tax base and public services.
“Midwest City is very intent on developing a robust economy for our citizens,” he said.
Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell thanked Centrillium for investing in Midwest City and the state. He also praised city leaders for creating a public-private partnership that fosters economic growth.
“When a company in the private sector, an entrepreneur, says they are going to put their roots down and plant their flag in Oklahoma, we need to be ready,” Pinnell said. “Midwest City is growing because you want growth. You want to be a progressive, growing city and a diverse community. When you do that, we’ll grow the right way.”
Pinnell said the state has also invested in the development through the Quality Jobs Act. He said he hopes that Centrillium can be an example for other companies looking to come to Oklahoma.
“We sell really well right now, but we have to tell the world that,” Pinnell said. “And it’s companies like this that are ambassadors for our state.”
Jimmy Harrison, CEO of Centrillium, said he was open minded when it came to selecting a location for his new company. Harrison spent much of his career with Cargill, Inc. but wanted to start a new company. He said he saw a gap in the market for specialized needs of mid-tier customers.
The company needed a location that was close to suppliers, that had the ability to move products in and out, and an exceptional and willing workforce.
“Oklahoma seemed a good fit for those three,” Harrison said.
He quickly zeroed in on Midwest City.
“Once we made that decision I have not looked back,” he said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the people in Midwest City.”
Midwest City has agreed to install water and sewer lines to the site as well as build a railroad spur. The Centrillium project is included in a tax incremental finance district that was created by the city last year. The city will use growth in property taxes from within geographic boundaries of the TIF district to pay for the site improvements.
American Glass Inc. will also be included in the TIF district. The company is slated to open a facility in the Soldier Creek Industrial Park. The project is expected to break ground in the coming weeks.
Centrillium has completed dirt work on the site including the creation of a detention pond. Robert Coleman, economic development director, said he expects the company to receive its building permit within the next few weeks with construction to follow. Coleman says the facility could be open by fall of 2024.