- We have a close and good cooperation with TCM, and we are happy to be located here, says Svein M. Nordvik, Head of the company CO2Bio, which will operate the facility.
The pilot facility is built right outside TCM which till provide CO2 in the test phase.
- The fact that we can use CO2 for something useful is exciting. Here we can utilize it as a resource, said operations manager of TCM, Anne-Berit Hjorth Viken.
Production of promising algae strains has been tested in a laboratory facility at the Department of Biology at the University of Bergen (UiB). Soon the production will be scaled up. The new pilot plant is planned to be completed in October 2016.
To resolve the shortage of Omega-3
The idea behind algae pilot is to utilize the photosynthesis, the combination of nutrients, water, CO2 and sunlight to produce omega-3-rich microalgae, which can become a new source of omega-3 in fish feed.
The source of omega-3 in the fish farming industry has for many years been fish oil, but the global shortage of this oil requires alternative sources to be developed. Establishing pilot algae production is a result of an ongoing collaboration between the research and aquaculture sommunities.
- Production in the laboratory facility at UiB has been promising, says Anders Goksøyr, professor at the University of Bergen.
- With algae pilot plant at Mongstad we can test algae production on a larger scale, and enhance expertise in the utilization of this valuable resource. This could be a step towards a full scale production of microalgae, he said.
Harvesting more knowledge
The laboratory facility at UiB has a volume of around 250 liters. Initially, the new plant at Mongstad starts with total volume about 4000 liters. The pilot plant will consist of two buildings totaling about 350 square meters, a greenhouse with equipment for the production of biomass and an operations building with laboratories and other necessary processing equipment.
- The pilot plant forms the basis for developing more knowledge of the entire value chain, from the selection of the right kind of microalgae until production of omega-3 fatty acids, says Hans Kleivdal, Research Director at Uni Research.. He has the academic responsibility for the project.
Operation of the plant will take place in cooperation with the company CO2Bio, which is owned by Marine Harvest, Leroy Seafood, EWOS, Salmon Group, Grieg Seafood, and Uni Research Bergen Teknologioverføring (BTO) and Nordhordland handverk- and Industrilag (NHIL).
- For us as feed supplier, it is important to increase access to marine raw materials in a sustainable manner. We are engaged in CO2Bio AS because we believe that algae could be part of the solution to commodity challenges in the future, says CEO Einar Wathne EWOS Group.
The total budget is around 18 million. University of Bergen contributes NOK 6 million, while NOK 6 million is allocated from the state budget. In addition, the aquaculture industry with NOK 3 million, Hordaland County with NOK 2 million and regional municipalities with NOK 1 million.