Calysta president and chief executive Alan Shaw pictured in Middlesbrough, where FeedKind development work took place. Photo: Calysta.

Calysta to build 100,000t aquafeed plant in China

Alternative protein producer Calysta has signed a joint venture agreement with Chinese-owned feed additives maker Bluestar Adisseo to build the world’s commercial production facility for Calysta’s FeedKind aquafeed.

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The first phase of the plant, which will be built in China, is expected to start operating in 2022 and will deliver 20,000 tonnes of FeedKind annually exclusively for the Asian market, the companies said in a press release today.

A second phase will add another 80,000 tonnes of capacity.

FeedKind is produced by feeding methane-consuming microbes on natural gas.

Space-efficient protein

US-based Calysta produces FeedKind by fermenting methane-consuming microbes with natural gas to make a single-celled protein.

The method, first developed by scientists working for Norwegian state-owned oil company Statoil in the Eighties and later bought and refined by Calysta in Middlesbrough in north-east England, is exceptionally space efficient. Calysta chief executive Alan Shaw last year told Fish Farming Expert magazine that a 10-acre site for FeedKind could produce as much protein as a soy plantation the size of greater Chicago.

‘World-scale impact’

Calysta’s chief operating officer, Thomas Huot, said: “Adisseo is one of the world’s leading feed additive companies and this exciting new partnership with Calysta marks a significant moment in the FeedKind story.

“Today’s announcement means we are now making the transition from a tremendously exciting idea to one that will deliver truly world-scale impact, making food supply chains more resilient, and making them far more sustainable in the process.”

Jean-Marc Dublanc: Venture will "protect the planet's resources". Photo: Adisseo.

Disruptive technologies

Adisseo chief executive Jean-Marc Dublanc said: “Adisseo is committed to strategic investments in new disruptive technologies. Our ambition is to become one of the leaders in sustainable feed ingredients and additives for aquaculture across the Asian markets.

“For this reason, we have been investing significantly to develop an aqua lab station in Singapore, fully dedicated to developing innovative and sustainable feed solutions for aquaculture.

“With this joint venture, we are investing further in a strategic collaboration, combining the agility of a start-up with Adisseo’s expertise to enable Adisseo to become a major contributor to food safety and sustainability in Asia via innovation.”

$28bn market

He concluded: “Adisseo looks forward to developing this partnership with Calysta, as this innovative technology will support and accelerate the development of its business in aquaculture while providing additional opportunities to tackle the dual challenge of meeting the world’s need for healthier, safer, affordable and sustainable food for tomorrow while at the same time contributing to protect the planet’s resources.”

The aquafeed market in Asia is worth $28 billion, representing 70% of world market.

Adisseo is one of the main subsidiaries of China National BlueStar, a leader in the Chinese chemical industry with nearly 21,500 employees and a turnover of $9.3 billion.