Evonik Slates Lysine In Russia | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: October 9, 2011

Evonik Slates Lysine In Russia

Agriculture: German firm makes another investment in amino acids for animal feed
Department: Business
Keywords: methionine, lysine, animal feed
Chicken feed is a major market for lysine.
Credit: USDA
Chicken feed is a major market for lysine.
Credit: USDA

Evonik Industries has established a joint venture with the Russian firm RusBiotech International that plans to build a plant in Russia for the animal feed additive L-lysine. The facility is expected to open in 2014 in Volgodonsk at a cost of about $200 million.

Evonik, based in Essen, Germany, is a minority partner in the joint venture, although the company says it has an option to increase its share “significantly.” The project has the backing of the governor of the Rostov region where the plant will be built, Evonik says.

Evonik and RusBiotech say they are also in talks with the state-owned Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies about its possible acquisition of a stake in the joint venture. Rusnano is increasing its ties with Western firms, having recently invested in a joint venture with U.S.-based Cleveland BioLabs and with the U.K.’s Pro Bono Bio.

The lysine venture is the latest of several moves made by Evonik recently to increase its presence in the amino acid market. Notably, the firm is doubling lysine capacity at its plant in Blair, Neb., and has announced plans to build a new DL-methionine plant in Singapore at a cost of $500 million.

Evonik claims to be the only company in the world to produce all four essential amino acids used in animal nutrition: lysine, methionine, L-threonine, and L-tryptophan. Methionine is produced synthetically whereas the other three are made via fermentation. The planned Russian facility will be based on about 300,000 metric tons per year of wheat grown in the Rostov region.

“Russia is an important market for us, a country in which demand for biotechnology-manufactured amino acids is growing,” says Patrik Wohlhauser, the board member responsible for Evonik’s consumer, health, and nutrition business. He expects the combination of a partner with local experience and an international firm with leading technology will bring success in the country.

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