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High hopes for fish oil replacement

the Fish Site Editor
08 March 2017, at 12:00am

USA: Up to 15% of the of the volumes of EPA and DHA currently required by the salmon aquaculture industry could be provided by specially-produced algae by 2019.

So claim Royal DSM and Evonik, who today announced their intention to establish a $200 million joint venture for producing these crucial omega-3 fatty acid products from Schizochytrium species of algae.

“Interest [from aquafeed manufacturers and salmon producers] is very high. Evonik and DSM have been extensively working with the entire value chain, including fish feed producers, fish farmers and retailers,” a spokesperson from Evonik told The Fish Site.

Evonik and DSM added that their algal oil will contain more than 50% by weight of the vital long chain fatty acids EPA and DHA and will be aimed at initial applications in salmon aquaculture and pet food. The companies will together build a commercial-scale production facility in the United States.

DSM Nutritional Products and Evonik Nutrition & Care will each hold a 50% share in the joint venture and co-own the production facility, which will be built at an existing site of Evonik and is expected to come on stream in 2019. The joint venture plans to invest around US$ 200 million in the facility (USD 100 million by each party over circa 2 years). The initial annual production capacity will meet roughly 15% of the total current annual demand for EPA and DHA by the salmon aquaculture industry. The set-up of the joint venture, to be named Veramaris and headquartered in The Netherlands, will be finalized subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

The joint venture follows a joint development agreement, signed in July 2015. Under this agreement, Evonik and DSM have jointly worked on the development of products and the manufacturing process and explored opportunities for commercialization. Both companies achieved positive results in the development of the product while extensively working with the entire value chain, including fish feed producers, fish farmers and retailers.

Under the joint development agreement, DSM and Evonik have successfully produced pilot-scale quantities of the algal oil at DSM’s production facility in Kingstree, South Carolina (United States). Customers will be able to receive sizeable quantities of the product for market development while the construction of the new manufacturing plant is underway.

DSM has expertise in the cultivation of marine organisms, including algae, and long-established biotechnology capabilities in development and operations. Meanwhile Evonik’s focus has been on developing industrial biotechnology processes and operating competitively large-scale manufacturing sites for fermentative amino acids.