Evonik plans to increase its capacity for sodium methylate at its Rosario/Santa Fe facility from 60,000 metric tons up to 90,000 metric tons until 2021.
The expansion is driven by growing demand for biodiesel in South America, mainly Argentina and Brazil. Sodium methylate is an important catalyst for large-scale biodiesel production.
“Confirmed higher mandates in Brazil such as the biodiesel blend increase from 11% to 15% by 2023, but also the competitiveness of biodiesel exports from Argentina throughout the world drive our decision,” said Marcos Salgueiro, general manager at Evonik’s Functional Solutions business line in South America. “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.”
“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.
Alexander Weber, global head of the product line Alkoxides & Potassium Derivatives, added: “This decision fits perfectly into our global strategy and strengthens further our market leadership position for alkoxides.”
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.
A string of recent biodiesel production capacity additions in the region reflect the increased importance of the product in Central & South America. “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.
Besides Argentina and the U.S., Evonik also produces high volumes of sodium methylate in Luelsdorf, Germany, mainly for the European and Asian markets.