Press release
North America
August 11, 2010

Evonik’s Blair Plant Achieves Milestone: Producing 1 Million Tons of Biolys

Decade’s Output Could Fill New York’s Empire State Building Nearly Twice

Evonik Degussa’s Midwest Lysine plant in Blair today observed a manufacturing milestone: production of its one millionth ton of the market-leading amino acid product Biolys®, an animal feed additive that benefits food production and increases sustainability.

“The Evonik Degussa team at Blair has produced and shipped more than a million tons of Biolys® since 2000, making the plant one of the most successful of its kind in the world,” said Reiner Beste, President of Evonik’s Health & Nutrition Business Unit. “Not only did our Blair plant reach this impressive milestone over a decade, but over those 10 years, the site has reduced certain raw material consumption by more than 30% and increased specific energy efficiency by up to 40%.”

Beste spoke at a two-hour ceremony outside Evonik’s plant — which is adjacent to Cargill’s North America corn milling operation — that attracted more than 100 international dignitaries, local leaders, business partners, customers and supportive friends. Individuals who spoke during the program on Wednesday included Alan Willits, President of Cargill’s Corn Milling division and Jim Realph, the Mayor of Blair.

Marc Gerigk, Site Manager of the facility, noted the Blair facility uses Nebraska corn to produce Biolys® — a superior form of lysine, an amino acid that is used as a feed additive to raise poultry and swine.

“With Biolys®, animal feed can be formulated to precisely deliver the nutrients required by poultry and pigs,” Gerigk explained. “When animal feed reaches this nutritional match, the feed is utilized more efficiently, less waste is produced, and the impact on the environment is minimized. At Blair, we are able to manage plant utilization and productivity in a way that I am convinced is unique in the world of lysine production.”

Each day, Evonik’s state-of-the-art facility converts about 40,000 bushels of Nebraska corn into Biolys®. “Since 2000, we have produced, packaged and delivered over one million tons of Biolys®. It sounds impressive,” said Gerigk, “and it is. Our total production of Biolys® over the past decade would fill the entire Empire State Building in New York. Almost twice.”

The volumes of corn that Cargill processes for Evonik using its corn milling and refinery capacities are significant. “If you put all those corn-carrying trucks that MWL turned into Biolys together end to end, the line of semis would stretch from Blair all the way to downtown San Diego and into the Pacific Ocean,” Gerigk said.

Gerigk added that Evonik Degussa has been a good neighbor for Blair and Washington County. Since 2000, Evonik Degussa has contributed more than a half billion dollars to the local economy — a significant economic impact. “But it’s not all about the numbers,” said Gerigk. “It’s about the power of partnership – the partnership between Evonik Degussa, our employees and the community. All of us here at Evonik are members of the local community where we live and work. We all understand about giving back to a community that has supported our families as well as our business.”

Contributions to the community from the Blair team and Evonik have totaled more than $500,000 since 2000. “Donating money is good, but giving of oneself is even better,” Gerigk said. “Since 2000, the Evonik Degussa team has spent 10,000 hours volunteering in Blair and throughout Washington County. Our team contributed in a variety of ways, from serving as leaders in the Girls and Boys Scouts to religious studies teachers to helping to rebuild homes for families in need to supporting local recycling efforts – to mention only a few.”

While today marks a significant achievement, Evonik’s Beste added, the company will continue to do what it’s been doing for decades – helping to better feed the world. “Evonik is extremely proud of its Blair operations,” said Beste. “We expect to capitalize on the world class cost competitiveness of our production site here in Blair and its excellence in biotechnology in order to substantially grow with the global amino acids markets, and to remain an industry leader.”

For additional information about Evonik in North America, please visit our website:

About Evonik

Evonik Industries is the creative industrial group from Germany. In our core business of specialty chemicals, we are a global leader. In addition, Evonik is an expert in power generation from hard coal and renewable energies, and one of the largest private residential real estate companies in Germany. Our company’s performance is shaped by creativity, specialization, continuous self-renewal, and reliability. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In its fiscal year 2009 about 39,000 employees generated sales of about €13.1 billion and an operating profit (EBITDA) of about €2.0 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.