In Germany, Evonik reaffirmed a plan to invest some €350 million by 2014 to expand its Biolys business. Biolys is a source of L-lysine produced via fermentation.
Investments include construction of new L-lysine plants in Brazil and Russia capable of producing nearly 200,000 metric tonnes each year as well as a recently finished production expansion to 280,000 tonnes per year at its Blair site in North America.
The nexus of biotech research at Evonik is the company's Halle-Künsebeck site in eastern North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the site is home to experts who are continuing to develop amino acids for modern animal nutrition, as well as biotech methods for other Evonik business units.
A small research group called Biotechnology was established in Halle-Künsebeck in 1982 with the aim of producing L-lysine via fermentation.
Today, biotech activities at this Evonik site (part of the Health & Nutrition Business Unit) include, among others, developing and optimising biotech production methods for the following amino acids used in animal nutrition: Biolys (a source of L-lysine), ThreAmino (L-threonine) and TrypAmino (L-tryptophan).
The biotech team at the Halle-Künsebeck site has nearly doubled over the past two years to roughly 100 employees.