November 30, 2015
Sumitomo Chemical to double methionine capacity
Sumitomo Chemical plans to spend more than 60 billion yen (US$485 million) to double production capacity for methionine within five years, Nikkei Asian Review reports.
The decision is said to reflect rising demand for the additive, as well as the company's strategic focus on investments in growth areas such as agrochemicals and animal feed.
Growing poultry demand, particularly from China and other Asian countries with increasing populations, is tightening methionine supply.
Sumitomo Chemical has the fourth-largest share of the one-million-tonne global methionine market, which has been growing at an annual rate of about 6% as consumption of poultry feed rises.
Global competitors such as Evonik Industries are also expanding methionine capacity, as it recently revealed plans to increase production at its Singapore site. Sumitomo Chemical is said to aim to grab a bigger share of the market by significantly expanding capacity.
Sumitomo Chemical will initially invest some three to four billion yen to increase its capacity by more than 10% at its plant in Ehime Prefecture, which currently produces 140,000 tonnes of methionine yearly. It will do this by the start of 2017 by expanding existing lines, installing new equipment and increasing productivity.
By 2020, the company also plans to build a new facility with a capacity of about 150,000 tonnes. It is still deciding whether to locate this plant in Japan or closer to demand in China, Singapore, or elsewhere in Asia.