By Greg Peel
Late last month saw a milestone for alternative energy company Algae.Tec ((AEB)) as the first algae module left the company’s production facility in Georgia, US, bound for the Manildra Group’s ethanol plant in Nowra, NSW.
Alage.Tec’s patented technology converts carbon emissions into biofuels and other potential products through the use of algal growth promoted by solar powered light. The process has been adapted by the company to operate within modular units – converted shipping containers – to allow for unlimited location and operational size and without the evaporation loss experienced in fixed pond algal growth. FNArena introduced AEB ahead of its IPO back in August last year (See: An Opportunity To Enter The Biofuel Revolution At The Base Level.)
Algae.Tec has since listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange – the world’s largest exchange for “green” listings – and has introduced American depository receipts on the New York Stock Exchange. AEB went to initial listing on the ASX with the Manildra deal in place. “Shoalhaven One” provides AEB with a demonstration facility that is also a commercial operation. Manildra is Australia’s largest producer of ethanol as a by-product of its flour production operations.
AEB has also generated a lot of interest in China, which is of little surprise given China is now leading the world in the adaptation of alternative energy solutions. Negotiations are underway in China but AEB announced last week that its first biofuel production facility in Asia will be in Sri Lanka.
Holcim Lanka Ltd is a cement and building material production company which is seeking to reduce its carbon footprint. Using AEB’s technology Holcim can channel its waste carbon dioxide into a modular algal growth system and produce valuable biofuel at below market cost. The facility will initially incorporate five photo-bioreactor modules for evaluation purposes before potentially upgrading to a much larger facility. It is expected AEB modules could also be rolled out at other sites. Holcim Lanka is part of the global Holcim group.
“We look forward to working with Algae.Tec on this exciting development that is aligned with our focus on sustainability and a commitment to the environment,” Holcim Lanka’s CEO suggested. Algae.Tec’s executive chairman Roger Stroud is “very pleased to be involved with such a significant global company that clearly attaches great importance to sustainable development at an economic, ecological and social level”.
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