German specialty chemical maker Evonik today announced plans for a $176.5 million expansion at its plant near Mobile. The expansion will grow the company’s animal nutrition business and cut the plant’s carbon footprint.
The firm plans to begin producing methyl mercaptan at its Theodore plant. The methyl mercaptan is used to produce DL-methionine, which is used in livestock feed.
Gov. Kay Ivey issued the announcement.
“Evonik was one of the first German companies to set up an operation in Alabama, and it’s great to see that its Mobile plant is once again playing a central role in this world-class company’s global growth plans,” Ivey said. “The significant investment Evonik is making in Alabama will not only solidify its industrial presence in Mobile but also allow us to continue to build on this long-standing partnership.”
Evonik expects its Mobile County plan to be a reliable and cost-optimized supplier of methionine for the American market.
“In the market we stand for quality, superior supply reliability, and a high level of safety and technology standards in our assets,” said Emmanuel Auer, head of Evonik’s Animal Nutrition business line. “The backward integration in Mobile eliminates transportation of hazardous chemicals and shows our continued commitment to responsible care and business sustainability.”
Moreover, Evonik regards the program as a part of its sustainability strategy by reducing the carbon footprint of DL-methionine from Mobile by about 7%, saving about 25,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalents each year.
“This project was made possible by the pro-business environment in Alabama and the cooperation of the Governor’s Office, Alabama Department of Commerce, Mobile County, City of Mobile, and Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce,” said Kel Boisvert, vice president and site manager for Evonik in Mobile.
Based in Essen, Germany, Evonik employs 750 people at its location in Theodore.
“Evonik is another example of a company that sees value in the local workforce,” said Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Economic Development David Rodgers. “Evonik has been a great corporate citizen since the 1970s, and this expansion ensures their site in Theodore will remain competitive for years to come.”