Unibio and Gulf Biotech in deal to turn natural gas into feed protein in Qatar

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/boule13
© GettyImages/boule13

Related tags: Single cell protein

Gulf Biotech, the Doha-based industrial biotech investor, and Danish single cell protein innovator, Unibio, have signed a license agreement to produce protein in Qatar.

Henrik Busch-Larsen, CEO of Unibio, said: “The abundance of natural gas in Qatar makes the country an obvious choice for the production of Uniprotein.”

The Unibio technology is designed to enable the decoupling of protein production from farming and fishing. The Uniprotein produced in the Qatar plant will be used as a protein supplement in feed for fish and animals as a partial replacement for soybean meal or fishmeal in formulations.

The licensing deal covers one production facility; the plant will initially have one module – consisting of four U-Loop fermenters with a total annual capacity of 6,000 tons of the single cell protein, Uniprotein. The technology is based on a modular design and extra modules can easily be added to expand the production, said the partners.

The planned facility will be the region’s first natural gas to protein plant.

“We look forward to bringing our partnership to the next phase where we will plan the engineering and construction of the new plant,”​ said Busch-Larsen.

The next steps are the design of the plant and the appointment of an engineering, procurement, and construction​ (EPC) contractor, he told us. 

Russian facility

The first industrial plant using Unibio technology is owned by Protelux in Russia and is now fully operational, said Unibio.

The Danish innovator said it is in discussions globally with a number of potential partners in North America, the Middle East and Asia.

In August 2019, it announced its intention to establish a SCP production facility in Saudi Arabia through a partnership with Edhafat and other local stakeholders. The anticipated capacity for that facility, when finished, would be 50,000 tons per year.

Separately, in December 2020, it signed an agreement with Chilean based distributor, Grupo Blumos, for “a large order”​ of its SCP product. 

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