Calysta and Adisseo to build novel feed protein plant in Saudi Arabia

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/filo
© GettyImages/filo

Related tags Calysta Adisseo Unibio

The companies say advanced discussions are underway to build a site five times the size of their single cell protein (SCP) fermenter facility in China.

Calysseo, a joint venture between US company, Calysta, and animal nutrition player, Adisseo, said the next location for its alternative protein facility would be Al Jubail in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The plant would be developed in partnership with Food Caravan, a business, and projects development company, which is active in different fields of protein and animal feed.

The alliance is aiming to build a 100,000 ton-capacity fermenter – the firms anticipate the facility becoming operational by the end of 2026, pending approvals and other elements.

The partners said the KSA’s energy ministry has greenlighted gas supply for the project, while the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu has nominated a site for the build.

The project is also getting support from the Saudi’s ministry of investment and its National Industrial Development Centre; those entities facilitate foreign investment in the Kingdom by providing direct support with necessary legal and regulatory processes, explained a spokesperson for Calysseo. 

"The Kingdom has both advantaged energy resources and capacity to build. Importantly, there is also substantial demand for protein in the country and the region. Calysta’s technology is uniquely positioned to meet that demand – even in the heart of the desert," ​the representative said. 

The gas allocation, he told us, indicates the KSA authorities believe the Calysseo project is one that aligns with their food security and economic development goals.

Chinese site

Today’s announcement follows Calysseo’s successful switching on​ last month of its first protein production plant, a 20,000-ton fermenter in China. That site is set to produce a SCP product, branded as FeedKind, for the Chinese aquaculture market.

FeedKind, explained the partners, is generated during the fermentation of methanotrophic and scavenger microorganisms along with methane, ammonia, and mineral salts. Methane is pumped through a fermenter and the microorganisms metabolize the gas to generate high-protein biomass, which is dried and pelletized before use.

Calysta’s protein platform is approved for use in animal feed and pet food across several markets across the world.

Qatar plant

Last month, we reported ​that Gulf Biotech, the licensing partner of another SCP producer, Denmark-based Unibio, had reached the final stages before construction in its novel protein plant project in Qatar, the first of its kind in that market. The facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2024, at the earliest. 

The plant will use Unibio’s U-Loop technology, where methane is converted through continuous fermentation to produce Uniprotein. The SCP produced in the plant will be used as a protein supplement in feed for fish. 

Unibio is looking to roll out its technology globally.

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