DSM breaks ground on Bovaer plant in Scotland

Large-scale production facility will produce its novel methane-reducing feed additive for ruminants, Bovaer in Dalry, Scotland

Royal DSM has begun construction of a new manufacturing facility at its site in Dalry, Scotland. The plant will significantly increase global production of Bovaer, DSM’s unique methane-reducing feed additive for cattle.

In an official groundbreaking ceremony attended by the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, and Dimitri de Vreeze, co-CEO of DSM, the company marked the next step in its plan to use Bovaer to reduce global methane emissions and contribute to worldwide methane reduction targets.

DSM announced that planning had started during the U.N. Climate Change Conference last year in Glasgow. Construction has officially begun on a facility that will help DSM scale up production of Bovaer in the coming years and marks another milestone in the company’s ambition to bring its methane-reducing feed additive to the market worldwide. This development of DSM’s Dalry site has been supported by the Scottish government through Scottish Enterprise, the national agency supporting economic development and innovation.

Reducing methane emissions is crucial for keeping warming below the 1.5 degrees Celsius target outlined in the Paris Agreement. More than 100 countries have signed a Global Methane Pledge, agreeing to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030. The addition of new signatories in recent months, such as Australia in October 2022, underscores growing recognition of the need for urgent action. Ruminants (mainly cows) emit around 20% of all methane gases globally, so reducing emissions in ruminant herds will play a vital role in meeting global climate ambitions.

Bovaer is a feed additive that can achieve an average enteric methane reduction of 30% in dairy cows, and 45% in beef cattle (with some tests showing reductions of up to 90%). DSM has initial product volumes available for near-term market development. The product is in the early commercialization phase in many countries around the world, including the EU/EEA, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Pakistan, Switzerland, Turkey and Uruguay. Since the start of the development of Bovaer, an estimate of 15,000 tons of CO2e has been saved, and reductions will accelerate further once the Dalry plant is fully operational, expected in the course of 2025.

“Just one year on from the announcement at COP26, I am very pleased to see the progress being made on-site and the fact that spades are now in the ground,” Sturgeon said. “We are here today to celebrate a world-leading project and multi-million pound investment which will make Scotland the home of this innovative product, underlining that Scotland continues to lead the way in delivering a net zero future.”

“After many years of hard work and dedication, it’s a wonderful feeling to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for such a large-scale production facility,” de Vreeze said. “This is a historic moment for DSM: We are continuing to deliver on our 2030 methane pledge, one of our food systems commitments. I wish the construction team every success as they develop this plant in the coming years.”

“Today’s groundbreaking ceremony is a significant milestone and the next step in delivering such an innovative project for Ayrshire and Scotland,” said Scottish Enterprise’s chief executive, Adrian Gillespie. “Royal DSM’s Project Bovaer has the potential to be a game-changer for emissions reductions from cattle. Scottish Enterprise has developed a close relationship with Royal DSM over many years and we were delighted to work with the company to secure Dalry as the home for this global manufacturing opportunity.”