The plant, construction of which was part funded by a £560,000 grant from Innovate UK, will operate what is believed to be the largest single algae pond in the world measuring 8,000 square meters in area and 4,000 cubic meters in volume.
The plant will use SuSeWi’s patented technologies which are designed to produce microalgae naturally, efficiently and at scale. SuSeWi’s technology replicates the natural growing conditions in which algae grow exponentially, using only unmodified local seawater, sunlight and air. The Company’s scientists select local algae species that grow productively in the local environmental and seawater conditions; and which are high in protein, the essential fatty acids Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and other key nutrients. A key component of the company’s patented approach is the tailored design of growing conditions in the ponds to replicate natural oceanic bloom conditions, thereby inducing exponential growth for the selected microalgae.
Microalgae will be harvested and dried on site before being subject to a variety of trials with the Company’s offtake partners to refine operational processes and ensure product suitability for a variety of end use markets.
SuSeWi has been working in Morocco since 2015 when it began to identify the location for a potential plant and prospect for local algae. Morocco has favourable climatic growth conditions, large areas of coastal desert with limited alternative use and several production locations close to deep, nutrient-rich oceanic water.
In 2017 SuSeWi, in partnerships with the Agence du Bassin Hydraulique de Sakia Al Hamra Oued Eddahab, The National Institute of Fisheries Research (INRH) and the National Aquaculture Development Agency (ANDA) to build a plant designed to test SuSeWi’s innovative technology in Moroccan conditions, on 3-hectares of government-owned land outside the town of Akhfennir.
Commenting on the announcement Keith Coleman, CEO and Founder of SuSeWi, said:
“We are excited to have delivered this important milestone in the development of SuSeWi and the commercialisation of our unique technology and approach. We look forward to working with our partners as we begin to commission and operate the pilot plant and prove the important contribution microalgae can make to addressing the world’s pressing need for proteins and other key nutrients.”
Commenting on the announcement Mrs Majida Maarouf from National Aquaculture Development Agency (ANDA), Morocco, said:
“We are delighted to work with SuSeWi to develop the sustainable method for producing algae in large volumes, while simultaneously delivering a positive environmental impact and using desert land. The development of algaculture could help Morocco create jobs in remote areas and provide a platform to build the aquaculture sector further.”
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