Advanced discussions and detailed planning are underway between the partners, who have formalised their intent to move forward with a development in the country. The partnership is aiming to build a 100,000 tonne-capacity fermenter in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to produce Calysta’s novel protein ingredients, which require no animal or plant ingredients to produce. It is hoped the facility could become operational by the end of 2026, pending necessary construction and approvals.
Confirmation over the intent to build comes after Calysseo announced it has successfully switched on its maiden 20,000 tonne fermenter in China, which will produce FeedKind® Aqua protein for the aquaculture market. The KSA facility would be five times the size of the current Chinese fermenter.
Alan Shaw, CEO, President, and co-founder of Calysta, said: “Our mission is to help the world meet one of its most pressing goals – feeding a global population that’s set to hit 10 billion by 2050. To do that, we need more sustainable protein, and to produce protein in places we are not currently able to. That’s what’s so exciting about the possibility of a Calysseo facility in KSA.
“This would be our second industrial-scale plant and an important step on delivering enough sustainable protein to meet growing and pressing global demand.
“Our patented fermentation technology is proven to produce a high-quality protein ingredient and thanks to the efficiencies of using a naturally occurring bacteria process, we are ready to rapidly scale up and meet that demand.”
Calysta’s protein ingredients are produced by harnessing the power of a naturally occurring process that uses no animal or plant matter, requiring almost no water and no arable land, helping preserve biodiversity. The result is a non-GMO protein that is high quality and nutritious, with a wide range of amino acids and vitamins.
Jean-Marc Dublanc, CEO of Adisseo, part of the Sinochem Group, said: “Today’s announcement is another significant milestone as we quickly move towards more sustainable forms of producing protein. Calysseo is something we’re incredibly proud of, we’re committed to building on this valuable partnership with Calysta as we focus on bringing the next phase of development forward.
“Together with Calysta, we share an ongoing commitment to improving the security and sustainability of the feed ingredient market, our facilities fulfil a considerable part of that promise.”
A gas allocation from the Kingdom’s Ministry of Energy has been received and a site has been nominated by the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu. The project is being supported by the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia and the National Industrial Development Centre.
Calysta’s protein ingredients have been validated in several independent trials both with academics and professionals. Its FeedKind Aqua® ingredient for use in aquaculture has been shown to be effective as a functional, nutritious feed ingredient in extensive trials across several popular aquaculture species, including seabass, bream, largemouth bass and salmon.
Thailand’s Kasetsart University, Thailand, recently found distinct benefits for shrimp, saying FeedKind® promotes strong, healthy growth, while also helping activate shrimp’s immune response to Vibrio, the causative agent of Early Mortality Syndrome. Since it was discovered in 2009, EMS has wreaked havoc on the Asian aquaculture market, causing billions of dollars in losses.
Calysta’s protein platform is also approved for use in livestock feeds and pet food across several markets across the world, offering a functional and healthy feed ingredient alternative that helps protect biodiversity.
Dennis Leong, Co-Managing Director of Calysseo, said: “The Kingdom as a protein producer is a paradigm shift for the world. We’re excited to progress plans to move forward with our second Calysseo facility, so soon after announcing start up activities at our Chongqing factory in China. Another milestone is exciting, expanding a new era of food and feed security.
Research from the World Resources Institute shows that the world will have to produce 56% more food compared to today’s output if we’re to feed a population due to hit 10 billion by 2050. Meanwhile a Chatham House report supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reported that global food systems are the primary driver of biodiversity loss.
Saleh Al-Shabnan, CEO of Food Caravan, added: “From a national perspective, this project comes in full alignment with the Saudi 2030 vision. It also complements the Kingdom's initiatives to ensure food security, reduce global emissions, create jobs for Saudi nationals and bring advanced technology to the Kingdom. Not to mention it’s a disruptive solution to the food supply chain globally.”
Calysta, Inc., San Mateo, CA, is a biotechnology company working towards a future where the world’s growing population has guaranteed food security. Calysta’s aim is to make protein without limits by fermenting low cost, land free carbon sources, to create new feed and food products, creating sustainable, high value nutritional ingredients that don’t interfere with the human food chain.
FeedKind®, is made using very little water and no agricultural land by fermenting low cost, land free carbon sources, to create a safe, nutritious, traceable, and affordable protein. Produced via a natural fermentation, it is non-GMO, price competitive with existing sources of protein and produced to the highest quality standards. FeedKind® has been commercially validated through extensive customer trials in aquaculture and agriculture.
Adisseo is one of the world’s leading experts in feed additives. The group relies on its 8 research centres and its production sites based in Europe, USA, China, and Thailand to design, produce and market nutritional solutions for sustainable animal feed.
With more than 2,520 employees, it serves around 3,900 customers in over 110 different countries through its global distribution network. In 2021, Adisseo achieved a turnover of 1.69 billion euros. Adisseo is one of the main subsidiaries of China National BlueStar, leader in the Chinese chemical industry with nearly 19,920 employees and a turnover of 9.4 billion euros. Adisseo is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Corporate website: www.adisseo.com
About Food Caravan
Food Caravan is a business and projects development company that is active in different fields of protein and animal feed. The company has extensive networks and contacts in KSA, GCC and the wider Middle East/North Africa (MENA) private and public sectors, as well as the capability of attracting sponsors and investors and arranging funding for promising projects.