Evonik Selects Mobile, Alabama, As Potential Site For World-Class MMA Plant

MOBILE, Ala., September 27, 2012

Evonik Industries, one of the world’s leading specialty chemical companies, is undertaking an engineering study for a new multimillion dollar methyl methacrylate (MMA) plant at its Mobile, Alabama, site.

The proposed plant would have a significant economic impact for the region including the creation of approximately 100 new jobs.

The Evonik Executive Board authorized the basic engineering study to evaluate the site’s feasibility for a 120,000 ton per year facility last month, said Gregor Hetzke, Head of Evonik’s Performance Polymers Business Unit.

“This is an important strategic decision for Evonik,” said Hetzke. “We are pioneering a new, environmentally-friendly manufacturing process for methyl methacrylate (MMA) known as AVENEER® that shows how future methyl methacrylate monomers and polymers can remain competitive.

The start up of the new facility, if approved by the Evonik Executive Board, is expected in mid 2015.

“Mobile has an extremely friendly business climate, an excellent infrastructure and a world class port,” said Hetzke. “Over the past decade, Evonik has invested millions of dollars at the site. This decision reflects our strong commitment to the Mobile site, our talented work force there and the local community.”

Bonnie Tully, Mobile site manager and vice president of Evonik North America, said the possibility of a new world-class plant in Mobile is “tremendously exciting.”

“Being selected for the engineering study is terrific news for the Mobile community and for all our dedicated employees,” said Tully. “Construction of a new plant would lead to the creation of nearly 100 new jobs and have a ripple effect throughout the local economy.”

Methacrylate monomers and their derivatives are the starting materials for innovative products for resource-efficient solutions, for example, in lightweight construction in the automotive industry.

Evonik views itself as a future cost leader in the MMA sector with the innovative AVENEER process, said Dr. Hans-Peter Hauck, head of Evonik’s Acrylic Monomers Business Line. “Like the traditional ACH sulfur process, AVENEER is based on ammonia, methane, acetone and methanol without using sulfuric acid,” Hauck said. “With a total yield of 95%, AVENEER utilizes raw materials very efficiently. Internal studies show the CO2 emissions using the AVENEER process is under 1,000kgs CO2/ton MMA – half the total produced without the AVENEER process.”

Another significant advantage of the AVENEER process is the possibility of manufacturing methyl methacrylate and methacrylic acid simultaneously at one facility. “The proportion of both products can be adjusted in a wide range offering a high degree of flexibility,” Hauck added.

With approximately 750 workers, Evonik Degussa Corporation’s Mobile site is one of the area’s largest employers. It manufactures a wide range of products that create the essentials necessary to enjoy a better standard of living today and tomorrow.

For additional information about Evonik in North America, please visit our website: www.evonik.com/north-america.

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  • 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, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms.

    Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2011 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around €14.5 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €2.8 billion.

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    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.