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Evonik to expand Argentine sodium methylate capacity to meet growing biodiesel demand in Latin America

Evonik Performance Materials GmbH, a subsidiary of Germany-headed global speciality chemicals major Evonik Industries AG has announced that it plans to increase its capacity for sodium methylate at its Rosario, Santa Fe facility in Argentina from 60 000 tonnes up to 90 000 tonnes per annum until 2021. The expansion is a response to increasing market demand for biodiesel in Latin America.

Evonik Performance Materials GmbH, a subsidiary of Germany-headed global speciality chemicals major Evonik Industries AG has announced that it plans to increase its capacity for sodium methylate at its Rosario, Santa Fe facility in Argentina from 60 000 tonnes up to 90 000 tonnes per annum until 2021. The expansion is a response to increasing market demand for biodiesel in Central and South America (photo courtesy Evonik Performance Materials).

Sodium methylate is an important catalyst for large-scale biodiesel production. The expansion is driven by the growing demand for biodiesel in South America, mainly Argentina and Brazil and a string of recent biodiesel production capacity additions in the region reflect the increased importance of the product in Central and South America.

Confirmed higher mandates in Brazil such as the biodiesel blend increase from 11 percent to 15 percent by 2023, but also the competitiveness of biodiesel exports from Argentina throughout the world drive our decision. This is why we continue to invest in our efficient reliable plant, which is strategically located right in the centre of the Argentinean soybean and biodiesel production region, said Marcos Salgueiro, General Manager at Evonik’s Functional Solutions business line in South America.

Besides production in Argentina and the United States (US), Evonik also produces high volumes of sodium methylate in Luelsdorf, Germany, mainly for the European and Asian markets.

This investment, coupled with the ongoing expansion of our sodium methylate plant in Mobile, Alabama, demonstrates our commitment to our core market of the Americas, noted Andreas Kripzak, Vice President and General Manager Americas.

The planned 50 percent expansion of sodium methylate output at the Argentine production plant in Rosario will be done in two stages.

This decision fits perfectly into our global strategy and strengthens further our market leadership position for alkoxides, remarked Alexander Weber, Global Head of the product line Alkoxides & Potassium Derivatives.

In addition to the increase in capacity, Evonik Functional Solutions is also investing in infrastructure and logistics improvements in South America, including expanded storage solutions in the region. These developments will ensure continuous high supply reliability to its customers.

We are following our customers’ investments with our own to ensure ample future supply for this important renewable fuel, which helps to reduce emissions, said Elias Lacerda, Regional President Central & South America.

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