(EnergyAsia, August 8 2012, Wednesday) — Germany’s Evonik Industries is expanding amino-acid production for animal feed with the construction of a new 500-million-euro methionine complex on Singapore’s Jurong Island.

When completed in the third quarter of 2014, the 150,000-metric ton/year complex will boost the company’s total annual capacity to 580,000 metric tons, enabling Evonik to also produce all its strategically relevant intermediates.

At the complex’s ground-breaking ceremony last week, Klaus Engel, Evonik Industries’ CEO, said:

“The methionine manufacturing complex represents the biggest individual investment Evonik has ever made.

“We opted for Asia as the site for this plant because this is the fastest growing methionine market in the world, (enabling) us to substantially extend our lead as the world’s market and technology leader for DL-methionine.”

Singapore was chosen for its excellent logistical infrastructure, the benefits of a petrochemical network and the availability of highly educated people.

“We are bringing hundreds of high-calibre jobs to Singapore and need excellently trained people to fill them—which is another benefit that Singapore has to offer,” said Reiner Beste, head of the Health & Nutrition Business Unit.

“The support we are receiving here in Singapore—from the public authorities, our engineering partners and our suppliers alike—is outstanding.”

Evonik is manufacturing DL-methionine at four plants in Wesseling in Germany, Mobile in the US, and Antwerp in Belgium.

These plants have recently been successively expanded, so that they now offer a total annual production capacity of 430,000 metric tons.

“The manufacturing complex in Singapore will complement our global positioning, meaning we will henceforth be represented in all the key market regions and we will use additional opportunities for profitable growth,” said Dr Beste.

Evonik claims the Singapore plant will be the most modern manufacturing complex anywhere in the world, as well as the first world-scale methionine plant in Asia.

As an additive for poultry and pig feed, methionine not only contributes to a balanced diet for animals, but also helps to conserve resources and the environment.

This is an important benefit as the world’s ever-growing human population sees us striving to provide healthy food for more and more people.

Dr Beste said: “Methionine allows us to make a valuable contribution to sustainability in food production. This amino acid has an important role to play in our pursuit of economic growth and prosperity without causing an automatic increase in resource consumption.”

Evonik said it is the only company in the world to manufacture and sell all four essential amino acids for modern animal feed: Biolys® (L-lysine source), MetAMINO® (DL-methionine), ThreAMINO® (L-threonine) and TrypAMINO® (L-tryptophan).