THE Netherlands-based manufacturer of methane-inhibiting livestock feed additive Bovaer has announced plans during the COP26 gatherings in Scotland to greatly expand its manufacturing capacity.
Dutch animal health company DSM will build a new large-scale manufacturing site for Bovaer production in Scotland, to meet commercial demand.
Reducing methane emissions was crucial to reach the Paris Agreement target of maximum 1.5 degree warming, especially since methane’s warming effect is shorter-lived and much more potent than carbon dioxide, the company said in a statement.
“Therefore eliminating methane will pay off right away. Experts at COP26 have emphasised the great impact additional focus on methane emission reduction can have, which was also expressed in the recently announced global pledge aiming at reducing methane emissions by 30pc by 2030,” DSM said.
While DSM said it had available initial commercial product volumes for near-term market development, to prepare for further commercial scale-up in the next years, engineering for the new production facility had started, with a view to a start in 2025.
DSM has had a smaller production facility near Dalry in Scotland for the past 60 years, producing micro-nutrients for livestock.
DSM chief executive Geraldine Matchett said her company was looking forward to offering a scientifically-proven effective solution to the challenge of methane emissions from livestock farming.
”We are pleased with the Scottish government’s support for the expansion of our production capacity of Bovaer, particularly within the context of COP26, where the importance of fast climate action through reduction of methane emissions is being emphasised again,” she said.
“As food systems and climate crisis are intrinsically linked, addressing the challenge of sustainable animal farming for a healthy planet is pivotal.”
Scottish Enterprise’s managing director Linda Hanna said Royal DSM’s Bovaer project had the potential to be a game-changer for the world’s net zero ambitions.
DSM recently launched its Food System Commitments, described as a series of quantifiable commitments aimed at addressing urgent societal and environmental challenges linked to how the world produces and consumes food by 2030. These commitments cover three areas where the company believes it can make positive impact: Health for People, Health for Planet and Healthy Livelihoods.
One of DSM’s 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,” the company said.
Bovaer is a feed additive for cattle researched and developed by DSM. A quarter teaspoon of Bovaer per cow per day consistently reduces enteric methane emission by approximately 30pc for dairy cows and up to 90pc for beef cattle, research has shown. The feed additive therefore contributes to a significant and immediate reduction of the environmental footprint of meat, milk and dairy products.
“Bovaer is the most extensively studied and scientifically proven solution to the challenge of burped methane from cattle to date,” DSM said. “Upon feeding, it takes effect immediately.”
The research to develop Bovaer stretched over ten years, 45 on-farm trials in 13 countries across four continents, and more than 48 peer-reviewed studies published in independent scientific journals.