I find the animal nutrition, aquaculture and animal feed markets all very interesting areas of growth for renewable chemicals especially for organic acids. DSM and Evonik’s new joint venture, Veramaris V.O.F., aims to produce omega-3 fatty acids from natural marine algae for animal nutrition. DSM and Evonik announced their intention to start this joint venture in March 2017.
The 50:50 joint venture has now started construction of a US$200 million production facility at the Evonik site in Blair, Nebraska (United States). Commercial quantities of the algal oil rich in the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA will be ready for sale in 2019. Pilot quantities for market development purposes are already available. Veramaris is headquartered at the DSM Biotech Campus in Delft (Netherlands).
The initial annual production capacity will meet roughly 15% of the total current annual demand for EPA and DHA by the salmon aquaculture industry.
Until recently, the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA added to animal feed have been almost exclusively from marine sources such as fish oil and fishmeal, which are finite resources. Currently, a total of 16 million metric tons of wild fish are caught for the production of fish oil and fishmeal.