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DSM, Evonik form omega-3 joint venture

Partners will build $200 million plant in U.S. to meet demand in fish and pet foods

by Alex Scott
March 8, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 11

Image of farmed salmon.
Credit: DSM
Veramaris plans to supply enough omega-3 fatty acid to meet 15% of the needs of the salmon farming industry.

DSM and Evonik Industries are setting up a joint venture to make omega-3 fatty acids from natural marine algae for use in fish feed and pet food.

The venture, called Veramaris, will spend $200 million to build an omega-3 fatty acid facility at an existing Evonik site in the U.S. that will go on-stream in 2019. The firms have already made pilot-scale quantities of the oil at DSM’s facility in Kingstree, S.C.

The new plant will turn out a “highly concentrated algal oil,” the partners say, using algae production expertise from DSM and industrial-scale fermentation know-how from Evonik.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a family of polyunsaturated fats that include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Initial output from the planned facility will meet about 15% of the farmed salmon industry’s demand for EPA and DHA, the two firms say. Fish use omega-3 for metabolic functions and as a cellular membrane component.

Most of the omega-3s used by the aquaculture industry today come from harvested wild fish such as sardines. A number of companies have developed alternative sources of protein for farmed fish, but finding an alternative source of omega-3s has proven difficult until now, the partners say.

DSM and Evonik have had a joint technology development agreement since July 2015. Both companies say they achieved positive results in product development while “extensively working with the entire value chain, including fish feed producers, fish farmers, and retailers.”

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