Royal DSM announced on November 9 at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, the United Kingdom, that it is planning to realise large scale production capacity for its novel methane-reducing feed additive for ruminants, Bovaer® with a new plant at its existing site in Dalry, Scotland, supported by Scottish Enterprise.
As emphasised by the First Minister of Scotland at the announcement, Scotland offers a welcoming and supportive environment for innovation and production, and is leading the way for a net zero future.
Reducing methane emissions is crucial to reach the Paris Agreement target of maximum 1.5 degree warming, especially since methane's warming effect is shorter lived and much more potent than carbon dioxide. Therefore, eliminating methane will pay off right away. Experts at COP26 have emphasised the great impact additional focus on methane emission reduction can have, which was also expressed in the recently announced global pledge aiming at reducing methane emissions by 30% by 2030.
Amongst other things, methane is emitted from cows – over 50% of emissions from milk production comes in the form of enteric methane emission. Bovaer® is a feed additive for cows which consistently reduces enteric methane emission by approximately 30% for ruminants. The endeavor to develop Bovaer® encompassed over 10 years, 45 on-farm trials in 13 countries across four continents and more than 48 peer-reviewed studies published in independent scientific journals.
In early September this year, DSM received full regulatory approvals in Brazil and Chile for its feed additive Bovaer®.
The company has available initial commercial product volumes for near term market development. To prepare for further scale up in the next years, engineering for a new large plant in Dalry has started, which is targeted to be started up in the course of 2025. DSM's Dalry manufacturing site has been in operation for over 60 years and produces high quality micro-nutrients. The site is the only Western producer of vitamin C.
Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, co-chief executive officers of DSM, said: "First of all, we are pleased with the Scottish government's support of the buildup of our production capacity of Bovaer®, particularly within the context of COP26, where the importance of fast climate action through reduction of methane emissions is emphasised again. We are looking forward offering a scientifically proven effective solution to the challenge of methane emissions by farming. As food systems and climate crisis are intrinsically linked, addressing the challenge of sustainable animal farming for a healthy planet is pivotal."
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, said: "Methane reducing feed additives are a crucial part of the solutions that the agriculture sector needs to deploy towards achieving climate ambitions. This multi-million pound investment will make Scotland the home of this innovative product and highlights that Scotland is leading the way in delivering a net zero future."
Scottish Enterprise's managing director, Linda Hanna, added: "Royal DSM's Project Bovaer® has the potential to be a game changer for the world's net zero ambitions and I am delighted that Scotland was chosen as the ideal location for this project.
"Alongside our partners, Scottish Enterprise worked closely with Royal DSM to build a strong relationship and provide support to help them choose Dalry as the target site for this global manufacturing opportunity. As we support sustainable economic recovery, this investment by Royal DSM provides a real boost for Scotland's economy. It also very much underlines the message we are sharing with the world: that Scotland is open for business."
DSM recently launched a series of new quantifiable commitments, known as the Food System Commitments, that are aimed to address urgent societal and environmental challenges linked to how the world produces and consumes food by 2030. These commitments cover three areas where the company believes it can make the greatest positive impact together with its business partners: Health for People, Health for Planet and Healthy Livelihoods.
One of DSM's commitments is to enable double-digit on-farm reduction of livestock emissions by 2030. DSM said it can help make a sizeable reduction in emissions from farms by changing the feed that animals eat every day.
Bovaer® is a prime example: one quarter of a teaspoon per cow per day will consistently reduce enteric methane emission by approximately 30% - enabling a 10-12% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per kilo of milk.
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