Ne­braska base for al­gal oil plant

Fish Farmer - - News -

EVONIK and Royal DSM will lo­cate the com­mer­cial scale pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity for their omega-3 fatty acids from nat­u­ral ma­rine al­gae in Blair, Ne­braska.

DSM Nu­tri­tional Prod­ucts and Evonik Nu­tri­tion & Care plan to in­vest around $200 mil­lion in the fa­cil­ity ($100 mil­lion by each party over two years).

The ini­tial an­nual pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity will meet roughly 15 per cent 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. Both com­pa­nies an­nounced in the spring the start of a joint ven­ture for this pur­pose. The es­tab­lish­ment of the joint ven­ture, to be named Vera­maris and head­quar­tered in the Nether­lands, will be fi­nalised, sub­ject to reg­u­la­tory ap­provals.

Blair, 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 al­most 20 years. The new plant will be lo­cated ad­ja­cent to Evonik’s cur­rent fa­cil­ity on Cargill’s site, with es­tab­lished ac­cess to the raw ma­te­ri­als needed to pro­duce the high value and pure EPA+DHA omega-3 fatty acid oil.

It will, for the first time, 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.

Evonik’s and DSM’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.

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

Above: Down­town Blair, Ne­braska

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