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 with full operation in 2025. The investment budget of the project is approximately EUR 150 million over three years.
“The new methyl mercaptan plant in Mobile is another important step in the consistent implementation of our global methionine asset strategy,” said 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 is 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 times of trade uncertainties, high logistic costs and other circumstances that impact potentially supply security, the company said that the investment comes at the right time and place to continue the track record of Evonik in the Americas. “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,” said Emmanuel Auer, head of the Animal Nutrition business line at Evonik.
The investment is also a building block of the division's sustainability strategy. With this investment, the company is eliminating all transportation in the U.S. of this material. It will reduce the carbon footprint of DL-methionine from Mobile by about 7%. More than 25,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalents can be saved each year.