DSM invests £100m in Scotland facility to cut methane output from cattle

A ground-breaking cattle feed additive developed by Royal DSM that cuts methane emissions from cattle by at least 30% will be globally manufactured in Scotland.

Long-term strategic investment in Scotland 

Dutch multinational Royal DSM has 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 for cattle.

This £100 million plus project is a long-term strategic investment for Royal DSM into improving sustainability.

Royal DSM made the announcement following a meeting with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the global climate change summit, COP26 in Glasgow.

Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s national economic development agency, is supporting the project with a £10 million funding package. This deal will safeguard around 300 existing jobs and create between 100 and 150 new construction roles across two years.

Pictured (from left to right): Geraldine Matchett, co-CEO, Royal DSM, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland and Linda Hanna, Managing Director, Scottish Enterprise.

From left to right: Geraldine Matchett, co-CEO, Royal DSM, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland and Linda Hanna, Managing Director, Scottish Enterprise.

Reducing methane gas emissions is vital for tackling climate change in the short-term, a major UN report says.

Co-CEOs of Royal DSM, Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze said:

"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."

“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.”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Agritech research and development

DSM has been researching and developing its cattle feed additive for more than 10 years. Results show that just a quarter teaspoon of Bovaer® per cow per day consistently reduces burped methane emission by approximately 30% for dairy cows – enabling a 10-12% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per kilo of milk.

An even higher percentage (up to 90%) reduction in methane emissions is reported for beef cows. The feed additive Bovaer® therefore contributes to a significant and immediate reduction of the environmental footprint of meat, milk and dairy products.

Scientists agree that reducing methane emissions is an important lever to reach the Paris Agreement target of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, especially since methane’s warming effect is shorter lived and much more potent than carbon dioxide.

DSM has made a commitment 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.

Sustainable food production

Scotland has set an ambition to be among the lowest carbon and most efficient food producers in the world by 2032. We’re on track. Scotland has also opted out of the production of genetically modified (GM) crops to preserve the clean, green environment that supports our food and drink sector.

Barley field on the East Coast of Scotland

With DSM's breakthrough technology right on our doorstep, the Scottish farming community will benefit in lowering its carbon footprint. It will also reinforce Scotland’s credentials as the place for sustainable food production and delivery of a more sustainable export product to the global market.

New manufacturing facility fully operational by 2025 

Work on the new plant at Dalry is underway and the site is set to be fully operational by 2025. The existing North Ayrshire site has been in place for more than 60 years and produces high quality micro-nutrients. 

Scottish Enterprise’s 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 it choose Dalry as the site for this global manufacturing opportunity."

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