BP invests $30mn in technology to produce animal feeds from natural gas

Latest venturing investment will see natural gas transformed into protein for fish and animal feeds, which could help meet growing global demand for protein feed more sustainably

Sustainability, BP, British Petroleum, Climate change, Natural gas, Calysta
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BP Ventures has made an investment of $30mn in California-based startup Calysta, Inc., an alternative protein producer that will use BP’s natural gas to produce protein for fish, livestock and pet feeds.

BP wrote in a statement announcing the investment that it would support it strategy of creating new markets in which gas can play a role in delivering a more sustainable future.

Calysta’s proprietary gas fermentation technology produces FeedKind® protein, a sustainable feedstock that can be used for fish, livestock and pet nutritional products. The process could help meet growing demand for feed in the aquaculture and wider agriculture markets without some of the environmental impacts of current sourcing methods.

The global aquaculture market is expected to grow up to 25% by 2025. The process will help combat overfishing in response to the projected growth. FeedKind® protein can be a sustainable substitute for other protein sources currently used – such as fishmeal and soy protein concentrate.

"By pairing Calysta’s exciting technology and entrepreneurial drive with BP’s global scale and gas market expertise, this partnership offers the opportunity to improve food security and sustainability for the world’s growing population," said Dominic Emery, BP’s group head of strategy.

"Welcoming BP as a partner is a tremendous step forward for FeedKind® protein and the best indicator yet that Calysta’s solution to food insecurity in a resource-constrained world can and will achieve global scale," said Alan Shaw Ph.D., CEO and president of Calysta. “We look forward to working closely with BP as we prepare to deliver this product to the world, and Calysta will benefit from BP’s operational excellence and focus on safety when deploying multiple production plants."

During the FeedKind process, a naturally occurring bacteria is grown in a proprietary fermenter using methane as its carbon and energy source. This creates a single cell protein that is harvested and dried prior to being pelletised. The natural fermentation process is similar to the production of yeast for bread. Calysta’s micro-organisms are a naturally occurring component of healthy soils worldwide. FeedKind has no impact on the flavor or texture profile of seafood or animals fed FeedKind.

BP’s investment will enable Calysta to expand production of its FeedKind® protein and support its ambition for a global rollout. FeedKind® protein is already being produced from the company’s Market Introduction Facility (MIF) in Teesside, England to support market development activities with leading animal nutrition companies around the world.

To date, BP has invested more than $500mn in technology companies across more than 50 entities through BP Ventures. Venturing plays a key role in BP’s strategy to tackle the dual challenge of meeting the world’s need for more energy, while at the same time reducing carbon emissions.

"We are really excited to be working with the team at Calysta, bringing them into the BP Ventures family as we seek new commercial opportunities for our gas business," said Meghan Sharp, managing director, BP Ventures. "Their technology complements our core business while providing opportunities for sustainable products for tomorrow."

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