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Calysta president and chief executive Alan Shaw at the company's Teesside facility. Photo: Calysta.
Calysta president and chief executive Alan Shaw at the company's Teesside facility. Photo: Calysta.

Alternative protein manufacturer Calysta is preparing for a massive production scale-up after teaming up with UK oil giant BP.

Calysta announced a $30 million (£23.6m) investment from BP Ventures to support a worldwide roll-out of its FeedKind single-cell protein.

Just as importantly, the deal also appears to give Calysta access to gas and power at BP’s worldwide network of production sites in around 70 countries. FeedKind is produced through a gas fermentation process using naturally occurring microbes with the unique ability to use methane as their energy source.

The FeedKind manufacturing process. Click on image to enlarge. Illustration: Calysta.
The FeedKind manufacturing process. Click on image to enlarge. Illustration: Calysta.

‘Global scale’

“Welcoming BP as a partner is a tremendous step forward for FeedKind protein and the best indicator yet that Calysta’s solution to food insecurity in a resource-constrained world can and will achieve global scale,” said Alan Shaw, president and chief executive of California-based Calysta, in a press release.

“The problems facing our food production supply chains have never been more clear, with increasing evidence that land and water scarcity are key challenges to meeting future demand for protein. FeedKind makes more from less, producing feed for livestock, fish and pets while making smarter use of our resources.

“We look forward to working closely with BP as we prepare to deliver this product to the world. Calysta will benefit from BP’s operational excellence and focus on safety when deploying multiple production plants.”

The investment agreement will also see BP and Calysta establish a strategic partnership around gas and power supply.

Meghan Sharp: Calysta technology complements BP's core business. Photo: BP Ventures.
Meghan Sharp: Calysta technology complements BP's core business. Photo: BP Ventures.

New opportunities

Meghan Sharp, managing director of BP Ventures, said: “We are really excited to be working with the team at Calysta, bringing them into the BP Ventures family as we seek new commercial opportunities for our gas business. Their technology complements our core business while providing opportunities for sustainable products for tomorrow.”

FeedKind is already being produced from the company’s Market Introduction Facility (MIF) in Teesside, England to support market development activities with animal nutrition companies around the world.

A spokesperson for Calysta wasn’t able to give details about how much FeedKind the company expected to produce or a timescale for the expansion, but an announcement is expected shortly.

BP Ventures was set up more than 10 years ago to identify and invest in private, high growth, game-changing technology companies.

David Hayes, senior principal at BP Ventures, will become a Calysta director as part of the deal.