GERMANY-Evonik, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has invested €25M (US$27.3M) in developing and expanding its methyl mercapto-propionaldehyde (MMP) production plant, an organic compound that is integral in the production of DL-methionine.

Evonik, with a presence in more than 100 countries globally, said that the investment in Wesseling, Germany, is in line with its move to strengthen its world-scale global methionine production network

MMP, a precursor of the amino acid Methionine, is integral in the production of MetAMINO (DL-methionine) which is used in animal feed to improve the performance of livestock farming.

According to Dr. Gaetano Blanda, head of the Animal Nutrition business line, the investment will enable Evonik to strengthen the European methionine network and safeguard its long-term supply of MMP to its  MetAMINO production hub in Antwerp, Belgium.

“The move underscores our commitment to serving and expanding the global DL-methionine market and secures the best possible supply security for our customers,” Gaetano added.

The company also revealed that the conversion and expansion of the plant were made possible following the development of a new production process, that will allow the avoidance of storage of chemical intermediates, such as acrolein, at the site.

Commenting on the plant upgrade, Dr. Jan-Olaf Barth, head of the Essential Nutrition product line, said, “Evonik is known for its innovative approach and world-class technology, and in Wesseling, we have now developed a process that increases efficiency”

He added that the company has “Responsible Care in mind” and it is looking forward to further enhancing safety at the site.

To the team, this investment is a building block of the global methionine asset strategy with the clear goal of being the cost and technology leader in all regions as well as the reliable partner for global customers.

From the report, Evonik has a laid down methionine asset strategy that consolidates three world-class global production hubs covering Europe (Antwerp, Belgium), Asia (Singapore), and the Americas (Mobile, Alabama).

The strategy will bolster reliable product supply as well as offer opportunities for cost-efficient debottlenecking and future expansion.

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