Half-time for Veramaris‘ algal oil production facility in Nebraska
Construction of facility for production of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA on schedule +++ Production to come on-stream mid-2019 +++ Nebraska government officials attend topping-out ceremony held on site
Veramaris, the DSM and Evonik joint venture that will revolutionize aquaculture with its sustainable omega-3 oil from natural marine algae, has celebrated a major milestone in the construction of its new production site in Blair, Nebraska. In the presence of Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley, the management of Veramaris and the two parent companies Royal DSM and Evonik, a topping-out ceremony was held on 4 June 2018 in Blair, Nebraska.
The construction of the US$ 200 million facility is progressing on-time and according to plan. Commercial quantities of algal oil will be ready for delivery in mid-2019. Pilot-scale quantities are already being supplied to selected feed producers and farmers for market development.
“Our algal oil is the response to the industry’s call for a sustainable source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. The known provenance of all the raw materials used in our process makes the product fully traceable,” Veramaris CEO Karim Kurmaly said.
The initial annual production capacity of the Nebraska plant will meet roughly 15 percent of the total current annual demand for EPA and DHA by the global salmon aquaculture industry.
Veramaris uses locally sourced sugar in its fermentation process. The algae strain, Schizochytrium, which is applied, has the advantage of producing the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA and the resulting oil has a concentration exceeding 50 percent. The production site will be entirely waste-free.
Veramaris’ highly concentrated algal oil will, for the first time, enable the animal nutrition industry to keep up with the increasing demand for these two essential omega-3 fatty acids without any reliance on fish oil obtained from wild fish stocks.
Until recently, the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA added to animal feed have been almost exclusively from marine sources. Currently, a total of 16 million metric tons of wild fish are caught for the production of fish oil and fishmeal. With the help of natural marine algae, Veramaris contributes to closing the supply-demand gap for omega-3 EPA and DHA, while helping to conserve marine life and biodiversity in the oceans.
The successful product and process development was only possible thanks to the complementary competencies that Evonik and DSM bring to the collaboration: DSM has expertise in the cultivation of marine organisms including algae and long-established biotechnology capabilities in development and operations, whilst Evonik’s focus has been on developing industrial biotechnology processes and operating competitively large-scale manufacturing sites for fermentative amino acids.
To drive a positive change in feed production and food consumption, Veramaris is extensively working with all stakeholders along the value chain, including feed producers, farmers, retailers and NGOs. Pioneering collaborations have enabled key players in aquaculture to raise Atlantic salmon on diets totally free from marine ingredients, using Veramaris’ algal oil as a complete replacement for fish oil.
The existing Evonik site in Blair was chosen for the production of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA to take advantage of Evonik’s decades of operational experience for large-scale biotechnology operations. The company has been operating a facility there for the fermentative production of Biolys® - the amino acid L-lysine - for almost 20 years.
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Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals, operating in the Nutrition & Care, Resource Efficiency and Performance Materials segments. The company benefits from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. In 2014 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around €12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €1.9 billion.
About Nutrition & Care
The Nutrition & Care segment is led by Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH and contributes to fulfilling basic human needs. That includes applications for everyday consumer goods as well as animal nutrition and health care. This segment employed about 7,000 employees, and generated sales of around €4.2 billion in 2014.
DSM – Bright Science. Brighter Living.™
Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. By connecting its unique competences in Life Sciences and Materials Sciences DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders simultaneously. DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials. DSM and its associated companies deliver annual net sales of about €10 billion with approximately 25,000 employees. The company is listed on Euronext Amsterdam. More information can be found at www.dsm.com.
In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.
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Veramaris is a 50:50 joint venture of DSM and Evonik for the production of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from natural marine algae. Located in Delft, the Netherlands, Veramaris was launched in 2018, because its parent companies shared a vision: to conserve marine life by using a resource the ocean provides – natural marine microalgae. Producing an algal oil rich in the two essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA through large-scale fermentation at its facility in Blair, Nebraska, USA, Veramaris enables partners along the value chain to become independent from wild-caught fish and meet the growing demand for animal protein responsibly.
In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future or the use of products, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Veramaris V.O.F. does not assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release. The English language version of the press release prevails.