BastCore, an Alabama-based hemp fiber company, has turned a former steam plant outside the capital of Montgomery into a processing facility, one of the first in the United States to offer a key link in the supply chain between Alabama’s farmers and hemp-derived product makers.

Final electrical work was underway inside the processing facility last month, the Montgomery Advertiser reported, and BastCore co-founders Coleman Beale and McMillan Arrington said they were aiming to have the plant operational by the start of the year.

“We see this as the opportunity to really be the center of industrial hemp,” Beale told the news outlet. “What we found is there is literally no infrastructure for processing industrial hemp for fibers in the United States.”

The 60,000-square-foot processing facility will use local hemp to produce fiber, chips and other materials for use across different industries, according to the report.

BastCore spent the past year supplying the plant with proprietary machinery.