DSM issued a press release to announce it will invest along with its partnerRoquette in a commercial scale bio-based succinic acid plant in Italy with about 10kt of annual capacity and which is due to come on stream in the second half of 2012.
No financial details were disclosed, but as a rough guess we would expect a 10kt plant involves an investment of € 15-20m. DSM claims that its bio-based succinic acid plant would be the largest of its kind in Europe.
After DSM and Roquette had their first bio-based succinic acid demonstration plant running since early 2010, this is a logical second step. It remains in our opinion a relatively small investment, and we note that DSM indicates it would consider an even larger facility should the bio-based succinic acid market develops as expected.
Nevertheless, the announcement is good news as if further supports the case that bio-based materials will increasingly gain importance in the future. As a strong player in yeast and fermentation, we believe DSM is well placed for this bio-materials wave.
No change to our view that DSM is well placed for future growth in bio-based materials/technology. We stick to our BUY rating as we continue to believe DSM is significantly undervalued from a sum-of-the-parts perspective.