$$News and Reports$$

Jun. 25, 2012


The Makhteshim Agan Group (MAI) announced yesterday the expansion of its operations in Israel through the opening of a new production facility based on a unique chemical process for aroma fine chemicals products. This unique process has been jointly developed with the research team of Prof. Moti Herskowitz, at the Blechner Center for Industrial Catalysis and Process Development at BGU.

The facility, located at the Makhteshim site in Ramat Hovav, Israel will be used for the production of the AleolTM product line scheduled to be released later this year. The new operations will strengthen the Aroma segment, where the Group develops, produces and markets fine aroma chemicals to the fragrance industry.

The facility has been designed and built to the most stringent environmental standards as part of the Group’s commitment to environmental protection by using advanced production technologies in these fields. The initial production process was jointly developed by MAI and BGU and was later licensed to Makhteshim Agan by BGN Technologies, BGU's technology transfer company. 

Mr. Erez Vigodman, President and CEO of Makhteshim Agan said, "With this step Makhteshim Agan has proven its commitment to provide efficient and effective solutions for its customers through technological advancements, production excellence and environmental leadership. I believe that Israel's competitive advantage in our sector is driven by innovation and creativity in R&D resulting in leading products and manufacturing processes. We will continue to strengthen and invest in such capabilities in Israel."

Dr. Elad Shabtai, MAI’s Head of Global R&D added, “we are happy to announce the setting up of a new facility in Ramat Hovav. This step serves to prove the advantages of combining the knowledge of leading edge researchers in Israel with the technical, engineering and marketing capabilities of our company. We are confident that the production facility will allow the aroma segment to further differentiate its activities and strengthen its global competitive position.”

Neta Cohen, CEO of BGN Technologies commented, “The launch of this facility is further proof of the significant added value academic research centers bring to joint ventures with commercial bodies. As a leading academic institution located in Beer Sheva, Israel we are particularly proud to contribute to the continued building and employment in the Negev.”

Prof. Moti Herskowitz is the incumbent of the Israel Cohen Chair in Chemical Engineering and serves as Vice President of BGU and Dean for Research and Development. Prof. Herskowitz is considered a world expert in the production of renewable, liquid fuels.

About Makhteshim Agan
Makhteshim Agan Industries Ltd is a leading manufacturer and distributor worldwide of crop-protection products and the largest generic player in the sector. The Company supplies efficient solutions to farmers that assist them in combating disease and increase yields. In 2011 the Company’s sales revenues were USD 2.7 billion, and it is ranked number 7 in the world agro-chemicals sector. The Company's Aroma activities involve the development, production and marketing of fine chemicals for the cosmetics and perfume industries using unique chemical processes.

About Firmenich
Firmenich is the largest privately-owned company in the perfume and flavor business. Swiss and family owned, the Company has created many of the world’s favorite perfumes for over 100 years and produced a number of the most well known flavors we enjoy each day.

Blechner Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev 
Established in 1995 with the support of Mr. Norbert Blechner of New York and managed by Prof. Moti Herskowitz and Prof. Meron Landau of the Chemical Engineering Department. The research carried out at the Center address the basic and applicative aspects of the preparation, specification and testing of advanced materials through catalytic processes, the development of chemical and petrochemical processes and the production of fuels. Unique research infrastructure has been developed at the Blechner Center for the preparation and testing of catalytic materials. Research is funded by academic research funds and by industry in both Israel and abroad. Mention can be made of dozens of research projects with companies such as Makhteshim Agan and Israel Oil Refineries, and long-term research and commercial relations with Exxon-Mobil in the USA. These researches have produced numerous technologies and over 20 patents. In recent years the Center has been involved in advanced research in the production of renewable, liquid fuels from biomass and from a mixture of carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

BGN Technologies
The technology commercialization company of Ben-Gurion University. The company handles all the contacts of Ben-Gurion University with the world of business. The company commercializes technologies created at Ben-Gurion University, creates start-up companies and encourages joint ventures and research work with industry.