Northstar chooses Wisconsin for isotope production

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NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes has located a new 82,000 square-foot, $194 million production facility in Beloit, Wis., where the company hopes to create 150 jobs by 2016. The new facility will utilize linear accelerators to produce radioisotopes used for medical imaging.

NorthStar is expected to break ground by mid-2012 with production beginning in 2013.

NorthStar said its initial focus will be the production of molybdenum-99, an isotope used to support 50,000 diagnostic procedures each day in the U.S.

NorthStar said its approach produces molybdenum-99 supply through low specific activity (LSA) molybdenum-99 without using uranium as the source material. NorthStar’s process utilizes a stable non-radioactive isotope of molybdenum (molybdenum-100) that produces fewer waste by-products. LSA molybdenum-99 produced will be transferred to NorthStar’s patented TechneGen Generator System, which makes this process viable.

The company added its goal is to begin domestic production of molybdenum-99, thus alleviating dependency on foreign sources.

Beloit has proposed local support of the plant, and will be submitting a draft development agreement to the city council for consideration at the July 5 meeting. If approved, the city will use tax incremental financing (TIF) to fund a $50,000 grant from the city to be used for training new employees. The city also will provide the company with a tax ID funded direct, developer pay-as-you-go incentive, whereby NorthStar will receive 10 annual payments in an amount equal to 35 percent of its annual increment paid to the TIF District.

The city will be purchasing 19.9 acres from Turtle Creek Development and 13 acres from NAI/MLG Commercial to assemble the project site. As an added incentive, the city will then convey the site to NorthStar for $1, according to NorthStar. The proposed project site was chosen due to its being immediately adjacent to a new electric sub station that Alliant Energy is developing. The Wisconsin Department of Commerce is supporting the project by establishing the project site as an enterprise zone which could provide a Wisconsin income tax credit allocation of up to $14 million.