Spain: Microalgae Production Facility Launched
The joint venture between EXELERIA (Group EVERIS) and BTME, finishes construction and begins operation of the second largest microalgae production facility in Europe in Spain. Aim of this joint venture is the production of high quality and high purity microalgae for aquaculture and cosmetics, as well as to develop a platform that will attain at an industrial scale, research in human food, production of omega-3 fatty acids and other uses that have been developed over the past five years.
At this time, deals are being signed with several companies to jointly develop markets, products and R&D work.
The production and research center, was completed in June 2012 and is currently in operation, it is located in the province of Cadiz, ensuring ideal weather conditions all year round (being the area in Europe with the highest solar radiation and enjoying mild temperatures all year round).
Facilities strategically combine the advantages of tubular photo bioreactor production with raceways, granting great flexibility in the production of products aimed for various uses.
The three photo bioreactors include numerous technological improvements and have a total capacity of 90,000 litres, including the largest existing unit in the world.
To ensure total control of the production conditions, the raceways are located under greenhouses, with a start-up area of 5,100 m2 (1,020 m3), and with plans for an extension to 20,000 m2 (4.000 m3) in less than 2 years.
The plant has two lines of „downstream“ for the harvesting, storage and shipment of the products, all carried out under strictly controlled conditions.
Facilities include full auxiliary microbiology and chemistry laboratories, a treatment plant for water processing, two inoculum production areas, a bank collecting strains of highly valued selected microalgae which have been selected and collected during years of research- and fully equipped areas dedicated exclusively to R&D.
The installation has implemented significant improvements in the control and automation of the production process. This allows the plant to operate with low personnel requirements and maximizes both production and quality.
Currently, the total production capacity of the plant is of 30 tons/year and, after the expansion plans planned for the next two years the capacity will exceed 100 t / year.