German specialty chemicals company Evonik Industries has started construction of a new plant in Mobile, Alabama, that will produce Mepron® — a special formulation of the amino acid methionine used in dairy cow nutrition.

The new plant, which is estimated to cost "in the low double-digit-million-euro range," will be complete in the second half of 2015, the company said.

"The investment strengthens our position as the world's leading supplier of amino acids. We continue our strategy of offering amino acids also for special applications in addition to MetAMINO®, which is used mainly in poultry and pig feed. This opens up new growth opportunities for our amino acid business," said Evonik Executive Board member and Chief Operating Officer Patrik Wohlhauser.

The U.S., which has the world's largest number of high yielding dairy cows, is the most important sales region for Mepron. The country is responsible for about 12.5 percent of the global milk production.

Evonik produces and markets the four most important amino acids that are required in advanced animal feed: MetAMINO® (DL-methionine), Mepron® (DL-methionine for ruminants), DL-Methionine for Aquaculture®, Biolys® (L-lysine source), ThreAMINO® (L-threonine), and TrypAMINO® (L-tryptophan).