Press release
North America
April 28, 2009

Evonik Launches New Sodium Methylate Plant In Mobile, Alabama

Innovative Facility Will Support Growing North American Biodiesel Market

Evonik Degussa Corporation today dedicated its 60,000 metric ton facility that produces a ready-to-use catalyst, essential in the manufacture of biodiesel produced from natural oils such as rapeseed or soybean oil.

Senior company executives joined with local business, political leaders, community representatives and employees to open the facility which was constructed in less than 12 months.

“Evonik Industries is dedicated to sustainable energy and this new plant represents that commitment. We are excited that this new facility will manufacture catalysts vital to the production of biodiesel in North America,” said Jose Berges, Evonik Vice President and General Manager Electrolysis Products & Alkoxides. “This innovative unit is a strategic element of Evonik’s ongoing commitment not only to the biodiesel industry and our customers but also to global environmental sustainability,”

The biodiesel market in the U.S. has tremendous growth potential despite the very serious challenges it faces today, said Dr. Thomas Haeberle, member of the board of Management of Evonik Degussa GmbH. “With this strategic investment we are well positioned to support both our customers and the long term growth of the U.S. biodiesel market.”

Sustainability, particularly biodiesel, is important not only for the present, but also for future generations, said Stefan Welbers, Evonik Vice President and General Manager, North America, Electrolysis Products. “Biodiesel is a clean-burning fuel made entirely from renewable resources such as soybean oil. Accepted by the EPA as a viable alternative to petro-diesel, biodiesel is environmentally friendly, biodegradable, low in sulfur emissions and non-toxic. Evonik is extremely proud to help make the world a better place through chemistry such as our catalysts essential to an efficient and effective biodiesel industry.”

The new facility leverages the cost and quality advantages of the Mobile site and supports the development of a world class biodiesel industry in the United States to benefit consumers faced with high fossil fuel prices.

“We are pleased to celebrate the opening of this biodiesel plant with the community and our employees,” said Tom Bates, President of Evonik Degussa Corporation and General Manager of the Mobile site. “This is a timely boost for the site and clearly demonstrates the critical role Evonik will play in an industry that is contributing to environmental progress, energy independence and sustainable energy.”

Evonik’s sodium methylate catalyst offers customers consistently high yields and the high purity of the crude glycerol obtained as a byproduct.

Evonik's Chemicals business is a world market leader in specialty catalysts required in biodiesel production.

The opening ceremony was attended by nearly 100 employees, political and economic leaders and guests.

With approximately 700 workers, the Evonik Degussa Corporation Mobile site is one of the area’s largest employers. This site manufactures a wide range of products that create the essentials necessary to enjoy a better standard of living today and tomorrow.

Company information

Evonik Industries is the creative industrial group from Germany which operates in three business areas: Chemicals, Energy and Real Estate. Evonik is a global leader in specialty chemicals, an expert in power generation from hard coal and renewable energies, and one of the largest private residential real estate companies in Germany. Our strengths are creativity, specialization, continuous self-renewal, and reliability. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In its fiscal year 2008 about 41,000 employees generated sales of about Euro 15.9 billion and an operating profit (EBITDA) of more than Euro 2.2 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 any obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.