August 17, 2011


Arkema picks Malaysia to build new methionine plant



Arkema, a French-based chemical group, together with the South Korean biotechnology group CJ Cheil Jedang, will be putting up a new methionine production plant in the northeast, which will serve the entire Asian market.


The decision has been made for Malaysia, not Thailand. After putting the two countries in competition, the French chemist Arkema and his South Korean partner CJ Cheil Jedang, specialised in biotechnology, revealed Friday that it finally decided to locate their future production plant bio-methionine and thiochemicals in Kerteh, on the northeast coast of Malaysia.


Wishing to cover the Asian needs from a single platform the plant is scheduled to enter service in late 2013. The initial investment is estimated at US$400 million.


The two partners, who unveiled their plans in April, opted for Malaysia given the good infrastructure (including port) from the region of Kerteh, and also the efforts of the Malaysian government to attract foreign companies.


Arkema and CJ intend to manufacture 80,000 tonnes of the amino acid methionine per year. Especially in poultry feed the demand for the amino acid is increasing due to tighter feed formulations and increasing demand for poultry.


Arkema is to become the world's number one in thiochemicals, the chemistry of sulphur. The French partner will provide Korean CJ methyl mercaptan, an essential intermediate in the manufacture of methionine. Arkema will also use this new plant to produce more sulphur compounds, mainly for the gas and petrochemical industries.


Arkema up to now has nine sites, including six in Europe and three in the US (among others a plant in Beaumont, Texas where it manufactures MMP, a methionine intermediate, for Novus International).

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