Unibio to build Qatar’s first single-cell protein plant

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
5 October 2022, at 9:09am

Unibio and Gulf Biotech have reached the final stage before the construction of the first single-cell protein (SCP) plant in Qatar, which will convert methane to a valuable feed ingredient.

headshot of a man
David Henstrom, CEO of Unibio

The company's new plant is due to have a 9,000 tonne capacity

Qatar is rich in natural gas resources but has little or no farmland or the ability to produce protein for its population or the surrounding region. By using Unibio’s technology to produce protein locally, it will be able to convert natural abundant resources, to directly enhance food security.

The 9,000 tonne capacity plant will use Unibio’s U-Loop technology, where methane is converted through continuous fermentation to produce Uniprotein, which will be used as a protein supplement in feed for fish and animals to supplement the deficit due to shortages of fish meal or soy.

According to Unibio “the production of Uniprotein is highly resource-efficient and sustainable compared with the production of traditional protein. Relative to soy production, Uniprotein uses no arable land and significantly less water”.

Gulf Biotech, represented by His Excellency Hitmi Al-Hitmi, has shown its commitment to using innovative technology and Qatar’s natural resources to tackle the highly pressing challenge of producing sustainable food for the world’s rapidly growing population. Gulf Biotech has completed their feasibility study on the viability of the plant and the front-end engineering design (FEED) stage for the development of the plant is due to be completed by early 2023.

David Henstrom, CEO of Unibio, commented in a press release: “We are absolutely delighted with the progress made together with Gulf Biotech in reaching the FEED stage at what will be Qatar’s first single cell protein plant. We need innovators and visionaries if we are to provide food security for the world’s growing population in a sustainable way, especially at a time when the global cost of food continues to rise. Qatar’s abundance of methane makes it an ideal region to use our technology. I am confident that together with our partners, we will play a pivotal role in being part of the solution in Qatar and beyond and look forward to updating our investors on this FEED result in due course.”

His Excellency Hitmi Al-Hitmi, founder of Gulf Biotech, added: “Through the planning and the feasibility study we have had a professional and constructive dialogue with Unibio to develop the project and adapt the plant to Qatar conditions. We look forward to finalizing the FEED phase and starting the construction of the first sustainable protein plant in Qatar. We see enormous potential for the future of sustainable development of our business and achieving food security for the country by providing a sustainable and economically viable source for animal feed products."