Global natural animal nutrition leader Alltech Inc announced that it has purchased a high-tech algae fermentation plant in Winchester, Kentucky from Martek Biosciences Corporation for USD 14 million.
“For Alltech, algae fermentation presents our latest technological platform from which we expect incredible opportunities in the areas of food, feed and fuel to arise,” commented Alltech Founder and President Dr Pearse Lyons. “We have worked in this area for several years and see it playing a major role in both human and animal health and nutrition as one of the world’s more renewable food and energy sources.”
“As with virtually all facilities we acquire, we expect to start an expansion phase here in Winchester within the next 18 months. I am confident that this will be one of the key pieces that will help our company pass the USD 1 billion revenue threshold in 2015,” Lyons added.
The USD 14 million will be paid over four years and include most assets on the location. The 23 ac site will be renamed Alltech Winchester and gives the firm an increase in capacity of 1 million litres, becoming the company’s fifth primary production site in North America and the 10th internationally.
Nicholasville, Kentucky-based Alltech has 21 other production sites that manufacture products for its 120 local markets.
Some of the fastest growing plants out there, algae can turn huge amounts of CO2 into oxygen.
“Alltech is actively developing processes that are derived from a variety of different algae types,” said Alltech’s Director of Applications and Quality Assurance Becky Timmons.
“Algae are one of the most diverse organisms in the world and their potential for product development is tremendously exciting for us. Alltech currently has the largest carbon dioxide sequestering algae pilot plant system in the state of Kentucky and this new acquisition will allow us to move our research yet further towards true implementation,” she continued.
The facility will allow for continued work with Alltech’s carbon dioxide sequestering algae strains as well as strains that are grown with other carbon sources. The algae will then be used for value-added feed products, algae derived bio-fuel, and the production of ethanol.
The new fermentation facilities will allow for quick product and process development. The fermenters’ automated control and monitoring systems will make possible advances in new and current fermentation processes.
Alltech began working with algae with the start of its rural Biorefinery project which was funded with federal and state capital. The project will be presented at the Future of Farming section in the Alltech Experience Pavilion at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010™ in Lexington, Kentucky that started this week and runs until 10 October.
By Natalia Real