March 28, 2023


Evonik tackles animal nutrition with science-based solutions, reveals methionine strategy at VIV Asia




Evonik recently held the "Sciencing the Global Food Challenge" press breakfast on March 9 at this year's VIV Asia show in Bangkok, Thailand.


The event was opened by Gaetano Blanda, Evonik's head of Business Line Animal Nutrition. Presentations were made by head of Product Line Essential Nutrition Jan-Olaf Barth, global product manager (Gut Health Solutions) Xu Wang and global product manager (ScreenFloX®) Dilan Deniz.


Providing sustainable animal nutrition based on scienced-based solutions was the main topic  of the event, Blanda stated in his opening speech. "The greatest challenge (today) is to ensure food (availability)," he said. With the global population expected to grow dramatically in the coming decades, industry players have to feed the world with the "right" and "secured quality" of food.


Food production will also have to align with animal health and welfare standards, Blanda added. To tackle food production challenges, Evonik endeavours to "do it with science," the bedrock of its solutions.


Through data, Evonik "can prove what it is offering to the customer," Blanda said.


Per the agenda of "Sciencing the Global Food Challenge," Evonik's ECOBIOL® FIZZ effervescent tablet and ScreenFloX® service were presented by Wang and Deniz, respectively.


Based on the Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, ECOBIOL® FIZZ is employed for water line systems in poultry production and rapidly produces beneficial effects on birds' microbial balance, even during times of stress.


ScreenFloX® monitors the microbial status of poultry birds and is the only environmental screening system that non-invasively determines pathogenic levels of a flock, with a confidence of more than 90%.


These solutions are part of a bigger effort by Evonik to "communicate at all levels" the harms of antibiotic overuse in livestock production, according to Blanda as he spoke to eFeedLink following the event.


Evonik's strategy for better sustainability, announces Singapore methionine plant expansion


Of considerable interest for the methionine market, the key highlight of the event explored the next phase of Evonik's Methionine Asset Strategy.


Barth explained three key aspects that the strategy addressed — these are customer proximity (being active in all global regions), cost leadership (supplying products at the best price and the best production cost) and sustainability.  


Barth focused on Evonik's production hubs in Singapore, Mobile (Alabama, the United States) and Antwerp, Belgium. Investments had been made at these facilities, driven by the goals of implementing new, efficient processes, reducing carbon footprints and lowering production costs.


For its Mobile site, Barth said that an October 2022 investment of more than US$170 million in a methyl mercaptan facility there will ensure customers in the US and the wider Americas region of supply security. The investment also helps to achieve "the best cost position by producing key intermediates" and sustainability. Furthermore, it would help to foster "responsible care standards" in Evonik's US operations.


Barth also highlighted another investment, this time, in a methyl mercapto-propionaldehyde (MMP) plant in Germany. The facility will supply MMP to Evonik's methionine plant in Antwerp.


With an investment of around €25 million (US$27 million), Evonik created new production processes to establish the highest technological standards. These standards will minimise the production of toxic intermediates and set up "best chemical processes," Barth said.     


He then announced Evonik's next exciting development in the Asia-Pacific, bringing attention to the organisation's methionine plant in Singapore. It was revealed that the plant's capacity would be expanded by 40,000 tonnes to around 340,000 tonnes yearly to produce Evonik's MetAMINO DL-methionine.


"This investment is supporting (Evonik's) growth in Asia," Barth noted. "We believe in this region. We are here to stay and we are set for further growth." He added that Evonik's Singapore plant will also supply markets outside Asia including those in the Middle East and Latin America.


Barth reiterated Evonik's push for more sustainable operations, as he revealed that a 'green' hydrogen power unit will be installed at the Singapore plant. This type of renewable energy would mitigate more carbon emissions than the "conventional production of hydrogen," he said.


Additionally, Evonik invested in a new steam turbine and other "technical integration measures" which will decrease the energy consumption of the Singapore plant, Barth added. Taking these developments into account, the carbon footprint of MetAMINO production in Singapore would drop by 6%.


"We are very well on track on what we have announced some years ago," Barth said.


"We continue to roll out (the Methionine Asset Strategy) independent of the current political situation and turmoils that we have seen in the last two or three years. We are executing this plan in all (global) regions, and with this, I'm very much looking forward to deliver on our promise towards —  supply security for our customers."


Speaking to eFeedLink after the end of "Sciencing the Global Food Challenge," Gaetano Blanda said that the expansion of Evonik's Singapore plant reflects the organisation's enduring interest in Southeast Asia. Moreover, Asia would remain as the strongest growth region for methionine worldwide.


Through innovation and the application of science-based solutions, Evonik will continuously generate value for the region, Blanda added.


Despite the challenges in today's market, the organisation is a "trustworthy" and "reliable partner," that rejects immediate, opportunistic gains for long-term, meaningful objectives, Barth remarked.


"We invested in the future growth of our customers," he concluded.


- Terry Tan, eFeedLink

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