Protix, a Netherlands-based producer of insect protein for use in animal feed and pet food, says the signing of a loan agreement marks a significant milestone for the company, giveing it access to up to €37m (US$40.2m) in additional funds for its international roll-out.
The Dutch producer will use the financing to support the construction of a new production plant in Poland. The Black Soldier Fly (BSF) producer is currently investigating different locations in that market in which to site its new facility.
The financing is supported by the InvestEU program, which aims to trigger more than €372bn in additional investment in the EU over the period 2021-27. The program brings together under one roof the multitude of EU financial instruments currently available to support investment in the bloc, with the idea of making funding for investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible.
Protix CFO, Lynn De Proft, said this financing agreement reinforces the fact that the insect production industry is not just here to stay but is poised for significant growth. “The confidence expressed by the EIB underscores our proven ability to execute, marking another significant stride in our journey."
Supplying the animal feed, aqua feed and pet food sectors, Protix has been producing insect ingredients at its fully ramped-up industrial scale plant in Bergen op Zoom in the Netherlands since 2019.
The company takes a measured approach to growth in a bid to ensure profitable and cost-effective operations. It is now looking to expand internationally and has also been seeking out partners in that respect.
In October 2023, Protix signed a deal whereby, through a direct equity investment, Tyson Foods would acquire a minority stake in the Dutch company to help fund its growth in the US market.
In addition, the two firms established a joint venture for the operation and construction of an insect ingredient facility in the US. When operational, that plant will be the largest at-scale facility of its kind to upcycle food manufacturing byproducts into BSF derived proteins and lipids. The ingredients will primarily be used in the pet food, aquaculture, and livestock industries. Protix can access Tyson Foods’ existing byproducts as feedstock.