USA: Omega-3 Fatty Acids New Facility Produces Natural Marine Algae for Sustainable Salmon Farming

Editor: Alexander Stark

Following a construction period of just two years, a joint venture between Evonik and the Dutch company DSM has commissioned its globally unique production plant in the US. Through the fermentative manufacture of natural marine algae, the new plant produces a special algal oil that contains the key omega-3 fatty acids needed for healthy salmon farming.

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The new Veramaris facility for the production of omega-3 EPA & DHA from natural marine algae in Blair, Nebraska.
The new Veramaris facility for the production of omega-3 EPA & DHA from natural marine algae in Blair, Nebraska.
(Source: Evonik)

Essen/Germany; Blair/USA — Through a 50:50 joint venture named Veramaris, Evonik and DSM have invested a total of $ 200 million in equal parts for the construction of a plant in Blair, Nebraska. The initial algal oil produced at the plant can sustainably supply approximately 15 % of the annual demand the global salmon-farming industry has for the two omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. The unique process developed by the parentn companies enables the manufacture of EPA and DHA for salmon feed for the first time without using any fish oil from wild-caught fish.

The production of the Veramaris algal oil is based on the natural algae strain Schizochytrium, which DSM has brought to the partnership with Evonik. The joint development of the strain right up to commercial production, and the joint development of the process formed the basis for the new production plant. The German company constructed the plant on site in Blair next to its existing facility, where it has been running a fermentation process to produce Biolys (source of L-lysine) for many years now. The production complex benefits from many synergies in infrastructure, technology and personnel.

Every year, 16 million metric tons of wild fish are caught to be used in the manufacture of fish meal and fish oil, which are then used as components in aquaculture feed. Through the addition of amino acids from Evonik and modern feeding concepts, the animal nutrition industry has already managed to significantly reduce the amount of fish meal used in fish feed. Now, the algal oil produced by Veramaris enables the reduction of the fish oil share without impacting the omega-3 fatty acid content in the farmed fish.