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Portage City Hall

Portage City Hall.

PORTAGE — The City Council last week welcomed the newest company to the city by granting a tax abatement to a Brazilian company to locate its first U.S. manufacturing facility here.

The company will construct a facility on a 4-acre parcel on Louis Sullivan Drive at AmeriPlex at the Port.

Gelnex manufactures gelatin and collagen peptides used in a variety of products from food to makeup.

The company plans on hiring 12 employees when the facility is up and running sometime next year. The average wage will be $29 per hour.

Operations manager Thiago Antunes told the council some of the company's clients include Kraft and Albanese.

It has five manufacturing firms in Brazil and serves customers in some 50 countries. It has a sales office in Chicago, which Antunes said, it also is considering moving to Portage.

The proposed plant in Portage will dry the gelatin to a powder form, which will then be shipped to various companies in the U.S. and worldwide as an ingredient for their products, Andy Maletta, the city's economic development director, said.

The gelatin and collagen peptides that Gelnex produces are found in countless consumer products such as makeup, pharmaceutical products, gummies candy, protein powders, and soups to name a few, Maletta said.

"This will be their first manufacturing facility in the United States and one which they anticipate will grow in future years," Maletta said.

The council granted a five-year personal property tax abatement for $1.5 million in machinery and equipment, and a 10-year real property tax abatement for the construction of the facility estimated at $2 million.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.