Press release
Corporate Press
September 16, 2011

Groundbreaking: Evonik builds new catalyst plant for biodiesel production in Argentina

  • Evonik to expand its leading position in the catalyst market for biodiesel production
  • 60,000 metric tons of additional annual capacity
  • Construction to be completed by late 2012
  • Use of proven process technology
  • Consultations with Argentine Minister of Commerce and Industry


Essen, Germany-based Evonik Industries is building a new plant for manufacturing catalysts for biodiesel production in Argentina. In an official ceremony held on September 15, 2011, and in the presence of industry representatives and politicians, Evonik Executive Board member Dr. Dahai Yu placed the foundation stone. "We want to further solidify and expand our position as a leading provider of catalysts for biodiesel production," declared Yu. "This investment is a clear sign of our commitment in South America and symbolic of our strategy to take part in the growth of this region," he added.

Management representatives are scheduled to meet with Argentine Minister of Commerce and Industry Debora Giorgi in that country's capital on the day following the foundation stone ceremony. They plan to discuss the Evonik investment and further steps for economic cooperation.

The detail engineering of the facility is already complete. The plant, which is expected to be operational by the end of 2012 at the latest, will supply ready-to-use alcoholates as catalysts for the production of biodiesel from renewable resources. It will primarily serve markets in Argentina and Brazil, with an annual capacity of over 60,000 metric tons.

The facility is located in the center of the Argentine biodiesel industry in Puerto General San Martin in the greater Rosario metropolitan area. Evonik will be part of a site where Terminal 6 S.A. operates a major biodiesel facility. "We will complete the plant construction without undue delay to ensure that our South American customers will soon have access to our high-quality, locally produced catalysts," says Jan Van den Bergh, the Head of the Evonik Advanced Intermediates Business Unit.

Evonik has many years of experience and proven knowledge in the manufacture of catalysts for biodiesel production. The company started up a production facility in Mobile (Alabama, USA) with an annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons in 2009. Evonik uses this plant, which was built in just nine months, to meet the demand on the growing North American biodiesel market. Based on the successful use of the new production technology in the U.S., the plant in Argentina will follow the same design type. The technology involves generating alcoholates in a direct reaction of alcohol and lye.

Evonik already holds a leading global position in biodiesel catalysts, including in South America. "The new facility in Argentina will strengthen our business around the world and in the region," notes Van den Bergh. "This will allow us to participate in the significant market growth for biodiesel, which is projected to expand strongly in the intermediate term."

As a global market leader for specialty catalysts for the production of biodiesel, Evonik also operates a catalyst manufacturing facility at its German Niederkassel-Lülsdorf site near Cologne.

About Evonik

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health and nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. In fiscal 2010, approximately 80 percent of the chemicals revenues of Evonik were generated from leading market positions. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms.

Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2010 more than 34,000 employees generated sales of around €13.3 billion and an operating profit (EBITDA) of about €2.4 billion.


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.