DSM and Evonik Settle on Nebraska as a Site for Omega 3 Production

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16 Jun 2017 --- Evonik and Royal DSM have settled on Blair, Nebraska, as the location for the commercial-scale production facility for their omega 3 fatty acids from natural marine algae for animal nutrition. DSM Nutritional Products and Evonik Nutrition & Care plan to invest around US$200 million in the facility (US$100 million by each party over approximately two years). 

The initial annual production capacity will meet roughly 15 percent of the current total annual demand for EPA and DHA by the salmon aquaculture industry. The facility is expected to come on stream in 2019. The establishment of the joint venture, to be named Veramaris and headquartered in The Netherlands, will be finalized subject to regulatory approvals. 

Both companies announced in March 2017 the start of a joint venture for this purpose, which will allow for the production of omega 3 fatty acids for animal nutrition without using any fish oil from wild caught fish, a finite resource. Initial applications will be in salmon aquaculture and pet food. 

“With currently 17% of the world’s wild caught fish being used to produce fish oil for aquaculture, we believe this is unsustainable,” Herman Betten, Global Director External Affairs, Royal DSM, explained to NutritionInsight. “By producing omega 3 with EPA and DHA from algae, we will enable the aquaculture industry to grow sustainably.”

DSM’s and Evonik’s highly concentrated algal oil will enable the animal nutrition industry to keep up with the increasing demand for these two essential omega 3 fatty acids without endangering fish stocks, helping to contribute to healthy animal nutrition as well as to the ecological balance and biodiversity of the oceans. 

Nebraska was chosen as it takes advantage of Evonik’s decades of operational experience for large-scale biotechnology operations. The company has been operating a facility there for the fermentative production of Biolys the amino acid L-lysine for almost 20 years. As an investor and employer, Evonik has built a consistent reputation in the local community. The new plant will be located adjacent to Evonik’s current facility on Cargill’s site, with access to the raw materials needed to produce the high value and pure EPA+DHA omega 3 fatty acid oil. 

Until the facility in Blair opens, DSM and Evonik announced they will produce pilot-scale quantities of the algal oil at DSM’s production facility in Kingstree, South Carolina (US). Customers will be able to receive sizeable quantities of the product for market development while the construction of the new manufacturing plant gets underway.

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