Saturday, December 5, 2009

Seambiotic and China Guodian utility to build $10 million commercial microalgae farm

Seambiotic, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based cleantech start-up developing and producing marine microalgae for the nutraceuticals and biofuel industries using flue gas from electric power plants, has announced that it has signed a License Agreement and a Joint Venture Agreement with affiliates of China Guodian Corporation, to establish a Chinese joint venture for the commercial cultivation of microalgae.

China Guodian is one of China’s largest power companies with over 100 power stations. The joint venture with Seambiotic will utilize Seambiotic’s innovative technology for the cultivation microalgae for use in the animal and fish foodstock and nutraceutical industries. The first commercial farm of 12 hectares is expected to cost $10 million, will be situated in Penglai, a city in Shandong Province, China.

The facility will utilize carbon dioxide emitted from the China Guodian's Penglai power station, and, according to Seambiotic, the facility will become operational during 2010. The joint venture agreements, with Yantai Hairong and Penglai Weiyuan, affiliates of China Guodian, contemplate additional farms to be established based upon a pre-agreed timetable.

“The joint venture with Yantai Hairong and Penglai Weiyuan is a major development for Seambiotic,” said Daniel Chinn, Seambiotic CEO. “Partnering with such significant companies validates our model of working with important power companies around the world, and we look forward to working with our Chinese partners in establishing the first farm and commercializing our product.”

Seambiotic was founded in 2003 in cooperation with the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to grow and process marine microalgae for the nutraceutical and biofuel industries while acting as a carbon capture technology. Seambiotic's research efforts are performed at a pilot plant at IEC’s power station near Ashkelon, Israel, where various species of marine microalgae have been successfully cultivated using the power station's CO2 emissions released directly from their smokestacks. The microalgae are in turn sold into the nutraceutical market or used as feedstock for animal or fish and biofuel.

Seambiotic says that it is currently in transition from the pilot plant stage to commercial scale algae cultivation and production.

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