SINGAPORE: A S$768 million plant to produce methionine - an essential additive in animal feed - was officially opened in Singapore on Tuesday (Jun 18).
The new complex by German speciality chemicals manufacturer Evonik Industries is the company’s second in Singapore and was constructed next to its existing plant on Jurong Island, which has been in operation since 2014.
Evonik’s new plant will help the company double its capacity in Asia – from 150,000 metric tonnes to about 300,000 metric tonnes, making up approximately 40 per cent of its 730,000 metric tonnes global output.
Aside from Singapore, Evonik has four similar plants in Belgium, Germany and the United States. The combined investment in both Singapore plants - more than S$1.5 billion - is the company's largest investment outside Germany to date.
Evonik is hoping to grow its business in the region on the back of the increasing number of middle-class families in Asia.
“On the one hand, the growing consumer affluence in Asia supports the increasing demand for animal protein. On the other, producers are increasingly focusing on more sustainable production of meat, eggs, milk, and fish,” said Mr Johann Caspar-Gammelin, chairman of the Board of Management of Evonik Nutrition and Care.
Speaking at the launch in Capitol Theatre on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat highlighted that Asia's demand for meat and seafood is set to grow by 78 per cent by 2050. He also noted that climate change has posed a challenge to food security.
"Global food security is becoming an increasingly pressing issue," Mr Heng added. "We will require new and innovative ways to meet these needs sustainably."
Products like methionine is one such example, he added.
Methionine, when added to animal feed, can enable "healthier, more sustainable and more resource-efficient protein production".
Evonik’s facility also presents an opportunity for good jobs and upskilling of workers in the energy and chemicals industry, Mr Heng noted.
“Over the years, Evonik’s growth in Singapore has also created other new kinds of jobs beyond manufacturing jobs. For example, Evonik’s Asia Research Hub in Singapore hires scientists and researchers, who work on cutting-edge developments in 3D printing and other areas," the Deputy Prime Minister added.
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More than 100 new jobs are expected to be created at the new plant. They range from lab and process technicians, to engineers in the maintenance, environmental, safety and health domains.
With plans to improve the capabilities of companies through the Energy and Chemicals Industry Transformation Map (ITM), the sector is expected to create S$12.7 billion in value-add and 1,400 new jobs by 2025.