BP Ventures backs Calysta to the tune of US$30m

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

Calysta's single cell protein (SCP) © Calysta
Calysta's single cell protein (SCP) © Calysta

Related tags: Single cell protein, Cargill, BP Ventures

Single cell protein (SCP) producer, Calysta, today announced a US$30m investment from BP Ventures.

The company said the funds would support a worldwide rollout of Calysta’s microbial protein for fish and livestock feed as well as pet food, which is branded as FeedKind; the SCP is made via a patented natural-gas fermentation platform.

The company said it would benefit from BP’s operational excellence and focus on safety when deploying multiple production plants; the investment agreement will also see BP supplying power and gas to Calysta feed protein plants.

Alan Shaw, president and CEO, Calysta told FeedNavigator: “British Petroleum (BP) is among the biggest companies in the world. It is one of the planet’s seven oil and gas ‘super majors’ and operates in 70 different countries, making it an incredibly valuable partner for Calysta and FeedKind. Our strategic partnership with BP will help us deliver FeedKind in a greater volume than ever before by unlocking significant feedstock resources, gas and power, ultimately enabling us to make a significant global impact.”

FeedKind Production Process © Calysta

BP Ventures

Since it was set up 10 years ago, BP Ventures has invested over $500m in technology companies across more than 50 entities with more than 300 co-investors. 

Venturing, said BP, plays a key role in its strategy to tackle the dual challenge of meeting the world’s need for more energy, while at the same time reducing carbon emissions. It outlined how it wants to leverage its investments across a portfolio of relevant technology businesses that will help BP transition to a low carbon company.

Converting gas into protein presents BP with a new market opportunity. However, it used to have significant interests in animal nutrition. Dutch feed giant, Nutreco, was formed in 1994 when BP divested its animal feeds and aquaculture operations, known as BP Nutrition.

BP Ventures said its senior principal, David Hayes, is set to take a seat on the board of Calysta.

Commercial scale production of FeedKind

NouriTech, which was formed in 2016 through investments from Cargill and Calysta, along with several third party institutions, is set to produce FeedKind at commercial scale on a 37-acre site in Memphis, Tennessee in the US.  

When that plant will come online is unclear.

Shaw said that NouriTech continues to “refine the scale, scope and timing for Phase 1”​ of that production facility.

“The project requires substantial capital investment. Cargill remains committed to the Memphis site and to NouriTech,” ​he added.

When asked where else Calysta intends to deploy other FeedKind production facilities, Shaw said the company expects “to make further announcements soon.” 

Calysta also runs a market introduction facility at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) in Teesside, in England, where it produces sample quantities of its SCP for testing by customers globally.

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