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Evonik Announces $176.5 Million Investment to Build Methyl Mercaptan Plant

  • Evonik to build a methyl mercaptan plant at its site in Mobile
  • $176.5 million investment

ESSEN, Germany – Evonik will build a methyl mercaptan plant at its site in Mobile, Alabama, in the U.S. Methyl mercaptan is an intermediate in the production of MetAMINO® (DL-methionine) and is currently sourced from third parties. This backward integration step strengthens Evonik’s site in Mobile as a global, best-in-class methionine hub for reliable and cost-optimized supply to North and South American markets. The plant is scheduled to come on stream in the second half of 2024. The investment budget of the project is approx. 150 million euros over three years.

 

“The new methyl mercaptan plant in Mobile is another important step in the consistent implementation of our global methionine asset strategy,” says Johann-Caspar Gammelin, Head of Evonik’s Nutrition & Care division. “We are securing our cash flow from the methionine business to finance our growth with system solutions in Nutrition & Care.”

 

The core of the methionine asset strategy are the three world-class production hubs: Mobile, Antwerp (Belgium) and Singapore. Together these hubs serve the expanding global market for DL-methionine. As part of the asset strategy, the smallest methionine plant at the German site in Wesseling was discontinued in 2021. At the same time the European MetAMINO® Verbund was strengthened by investment in intermediates at this site.

 

The global methionine production hubs in Antwerp and Singapore are already fully backward integrated. This contributes – just like the present investment in Mobile – to improved supply security and a market-leading cost position. It also facilitates future and highly efficient debottlenecking over the next years.

 

“In the market we stand for quality, superior supply reliability, and a high level of safety and technology standards in our assets. The backward integration in Mobile eliminates transportation of hazardous chemicals and shows our continued commitment to responsible care and business sustainability. This ultimately positions us even better as a reliable partner for our customers in the Americas,” says Dr. Emmanuel Auer, Head of the Animal Nutrition business line at Evonik.

 

The investment is also a building block of the division’s sustainability strategy: it will reduce the carbon footprint of DL-methionine from Mobile by about seven percent. More than 25,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalents can be saved each year.

 

Methionine is used in livestock farming to feed animals healthily, efficiently, and sustainably. With its science-based approach, Evonik’s Animal Nutrition business line develops products, services and system solutions that help supply a growing world population with healthy, high-quality and affordable animal protein. Animal Nutrition is part of Evonik’s Nutrition & Care Division and makes a significant contribution to the profitable growth of Nutrition & Care through its self-financing power.

 

“This project was made possible by the pro-business environment in Alabama and the cooperation of the Governor’s Office, Alabama Department of Commerce, Mobile County, City of Mobile and Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce,” said Kel Boisvert, vice president and site manager for Evonik in Mobile.

 

“Evonik was one of the first German companies to set up an operation in Alabama, and it’s great to see that its Mobile plant is once again playing a central role in this world-class company’s global growth plans,” Governor Kay Ivey said. “The significant investment Evonik is making in Alabama will not only solidify its industrial presence in Mobile but also allow us to continue to build on this long-standing partnership.”

 

“Because Evonik’s culture stands firmly on values such as innovation and sustainability, it is exciting to see the company launch another expansion project at its Mobile facility,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “I’m confident that this investment will become a building block for even more future growth for Evonik in our state.”

 

“Mobile County Commission is pleased that this Evonik expansion will increase the number of good-paying local jobs, increase its local investment and help Evonik position itself more globally competitive,” said Randall Dueitt, Mobile County Commissioner, District 3.

 

“Evonik is another example of a company that sees value in the local workforce,” said Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Economic Development David Rodgers. “Evonik has been a great corporate citizen since the 1970s and this expansion ensures their site in Theodore will remain competitive for years to come.”

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About the Mobile Area Chamber’s Economic Development Efforts

The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce is a private business organization with more than 1,800 members and the economic developer of record for the City of Mobile and Mobile County. Thanks to the support of the Chamber’s Partners for Growth public and private investors, from 2011 to date, Mobile’s economic development efforts have created 6,557 new jobs and retained 502 more. Capital investments topped $4.43 billion, including 31 new businesses recruited and 56 expansion projects at existing area companies. Additional information is on the Chamber’s website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

 

Company information

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of  €12.2 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €1.91 billion in 2020. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. About 33,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life today and tomorrow

 

About Nutrition & Care

The focus of the business of the Nutrition & Care division is on health and quality of life. It develops differentiated solutions for active pharmaceutical ingredients, medical devices, nutrition for humans and animals, personal care, cosmetics, and household cleaning. In these resilient end markets, the division generated sales of around three billion euros in 2020 with about 5,300 employees.

 

Disclaimer

In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.