Animal feed firm £100m plan will reduce methane

A feed additive that results in a 30% reduction in methane produced by cattle will be globally manufactured in Scotland as part of a £100 million project by Dutch firm Royal DSM.

As the second week of COP26 got underway in Glasgow, Royal DSM unveiled plans for a large-scale production facility at its site in Dalry, North Ayrshire, to manufacture its new product Bovaer, a methane reducing feed additive.

The £100 million project has been a long-term strategic investment of Royal DSM into improving sustainability.

Engineering and construction is the next step, which will be supported by a £10 million funding package from Scottish Enterprise.

The Dalry site currently employs more than 300 people and by manufacturing the feed additive, this number is anticipated to grow by about 30, as well as securing the site’s long-term future and delivering between 100-150 construction roles over two years to boost the local economy.

Royal DSM made the announcement following a meeting with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the global climate change summit.

Sturgeon said: “Methane reducing feed additives are a crucial part of the solutions that the agriculture sector needs to deploy towards achieving climate ambitions.

“This multi million pound investment will make Scotland the home of this innovative product and highlights that Scotland is leading the way in delivering a net zero future.”

Co-CEOs of Royal DSM, Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, said in a statement: “We are pleased the Scottish government is supporting the buildup of our production capacity of Bovaer in Scotland, particularly within the context of COP26, where the importance of fast climate action through reduction of methane emissions is emphasized again.

“We are looking forward to offer a scientifically proven effective solution to the challenge of methane emissions by farming.

“As food systems and climate crisis are intrinsically linked, addressing the challenge of sustainable animal farming for a healthy planet is pivotal.

“One of DSM’s food system commitments is to enable double-digit on-farm reduction of livestock emissions by 2030.

“DSM can help make a sizeable reduction in emissions from farms by changing the feed that animals eat every day.

“Bovaer is a prime example: one quarter of a teaspoon per cow per day will consistently reduce enteric methane emission by approximately 30% – enabling a 10-12% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per kilo of milk.”

Scottish Enterprise managing director Linda Hanna added: “Royal DSM’s Project Bovaer has the potential to be a game-changer for the world’s net zero ambitions and I am delighted that Scotland was chosen as the ideal location for this project.

“Alongside our partners, Scottish Enterprise worked closely with Royal DSM to build a strong relationship and provide support to help them choose Dalry as the site for this global manufacturing opportunity.”