Japanese biotech group launches largest tropical microalga facility in Malaysia

August 20, 2019 |

In Japan, Chitose Group, a family of biotechnology companies, designed and supervised the largest microalga cultivation facility which is suitable to the tropical climate and established in the project jointly organized by Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) in Sarawak, Malaysia.
The operation of the facility will be demonstrated on a ceremony arranged by SBC and MC on August 27th, 2019.

In October 2012, SBC, a state research institute of Sarawak, Malaysia, and MC started a joint project aiming for collecting and utilizing local microalgal strains. As a technical adviser for MC, Chitose Group joined the project in 2013 in order to manage and support the project through providing technical consultation and supervision to local SBC researchers both on and off site.

The facility Chitose Group designed and supervised is, unlike traditional pond/raceway types, a three-dimensional cultivation facility that is optimized for efficient cultivation of microalgae under tropical environment and is applicable to future scaling; the structure not only allows for the maximum utilization of sunlight, but for also scaling up using economical and locally procurable building materials. The construction was completed in November 2018. Since then, commissioning of the facility and the preliminary demonstration of the continuous cultivation were performed, and the technical feasibility for the commercialization of this technology was confirmed. In addition, microalgal biomass cultivated and harvested from this facility has been successfully applied to the local commercial production of shrimp as feed and water conditioner.

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