Methionine comes from Alabama again

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The essential amino acid DL-methionine is especially needed by high-performance dairy cows for a balanced nutritional supply.
The essential amino acid DL-methionine is especially needed by high-performance dairy cows for a balanced nutritional supply.

Evonik is restarting the rumen-protected methionine plant in Mobile, Alabama. The company is thus aiming to serve its U.S. customers locally and benefit from the growing dairy industry in the United States.

Evonik has restarted its Mepron® plant in Mobile, one of the Animal Nutrition Business Unit's three world-scale DL-methionine production sites. The move is intended to once again supply the U.S. milk and dairy markets from a local source, Evonik says, explaining the move. In times of global pandemics and uncertainties in demand, Evonik had adjusted its production capacities for Mepron® worldwide, which in recent years also affected the facility in Mobile, AL. With the resumption of production in Mobile, Evonik now intends to supply its customers in the USA from the Alabama plant.

USA is largest single market

With more than nine million high-performance dairy cows, the U.S. is the world's largest single market for Mepron® - a special methionine formulation that prevents breakdown in the rumen and promotes a balanced nutrient supply for dairy cows. The production of Mepron® is based on the essential amino acid DL-methionine. High-performance dairy cows have a particularly high requirement for methionine. By using Mepron®, the amino acid balance of dairy cattle rations can be balanced, significantly reducing CO2 emissions and nitrogen excretion, according to the company.

Farmers benefit from an increase in production profitability and milk quality, as evidenced by higher specific milk yields and improved herd health, immunity and fertility, according to Evonik.

Investments announced

"We are convinced that our North American customers in the milk and dairy industry need the supply security of a strong, reliable and regional methionine producer, especially in times of global supply chain disruptions. Now is the right time to restart the U.S. plant and show our regional customers that they can rely on Evonik," says Bonnie Tully, president of Evonik's North America region.

In total, Evonik is creating ten highly skilled jobs at the Mobile site with the restart of Mepron® production. Back in January 2022, Evonik committed to invest more than $175 million to fully reintegrate the methionine production complex at the Mobile site and build a new methyl mercaptan plant. Methionine-based products are used in livestock and aquaculture to provide animals with healthy, efficient and sustainable nutrition.