News last update:6 Aug 2012

Arkema chooses Malaysia for its new methionine plant

Together with the South Korean biotechnology group CJ Cheil Jedang, French based chemical group Arkema will be building a new plant for the production of methionine in the northeast of. This plant will serve the entire Asian market.

The decision has been made for Malaysia, not Thailand. After putting the two countries in competition, the French chemist Arkema and his South Korean partner CJ Cheil Jedang, specialized in biotechnology, revealed Friday that it finally decided to locate their future production plant bio-methionine and thiochemicals in Kerteh, on the northeast coast of Malaysia.
Wishing to cover the Asian needs from a single platform the plant is scheduled to enter service in late 2013. The initial investment is estimated at $400 million.
The two partners, who unveiled their plans in April, opted for Malaysia given the good infrastructure (including port) from the region of Kerteh, and also the efforts of the Malaysian government to attract foreign companies.
Arkema and CJ intend to manufacture 80,000 tonnes of the amino acid methionine per year. Especially in poultry feed the demand for the amino acid is increasing due to tighter feed formulations and increasing demand for poultry.
Arkema is to become the world's number one in thiochemicals, the chemistry of sulphur. The French partner will provide Korean CJ methyl mercaptan, an essential intermediate in the manufacture of methionine. Arkema will also use this new plant to produce more sulphur compounds, mainly for the gas and petrochemical industries.
Arkema up to now has nine sites, including six in Europe and three in the United States (among others a plant in Beaumont, Texas where it manufactures MMP, a methionine intermediate, for Novus International).

Dick Ziggers

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