SINGAPORE - Global specialty chemicals manufacturer Evonik Industries on Wednesday (Oct 19) broke ground on its second methionine plant on Jurong Island.
The new complex, with investment costs of more than 500 million euros (S$762 million), is expected to become operational in 2019.
It will be able to produce of 150,000 metric tonnes of the DL-methionine, an essential amino acid used in animal feed - increasing the company's annual capacity to about 300,000 metric tonnes in Asia, and about 700,000 metric tonnes worldwide.
More than 150 jobs are expected to be created at the new plant, said Evonik.
The move comes as Evonik prepares to meet the steadily growing demand for methionine, particularly in Asia, said Dr Reiner Beste, chairman of the board of management at Evonik Nutrition & Care.
"We have a growing world population demanding an increasing amount of healthy food, including meat, fish, eggs and milk, which is why the global methionine market will require bigger supplies over the coming years."
Already, Asia is Evonik's biggest growth market for methionine, expanding at about 6 to 7 per cent annually, noted Dr Beste.
Dr Klaus Engel, chairman of the executive board of Evonik Industries, added: "We have again selected Singapore as a location because we can serve the Asian growth markets particularly well from here. With the new facility, we can continue to develop our market and technological leadership in the methionine business."
Evonik in November 2014 opened its first methionine facility here, which also cost more than 500 million euros. The two plants, together, will mark Evonik's largest investment outside of Germany.
The company in May last year also doubled the on-site capacities of its oil additives facility in Jurong Island.
Dr Beh Swan Gin, chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board, said Evonik's decision to build a second plant so soon after its first is "a vote of confidence in Singapore's attractiveness for high-value manufacturing".
"The Asian growth story remains a bright spot despite the uncertain global economic environment and Singapore is well-placed to help international companies pursue opportunities in this region."