BP has splashed out £23.6 million in an “alternative protein” maker that will use the energy major’s gas to make fish, livestock and pet feeds.
Calysta, a California-based start-up, uses gas fermentation technology to produce sustainable feedstock.
It can help meet the growing demand for feed in the aquaculture and agriculture markets while limiting some of the environmental impacts of current methods.
The process will also help combat overfishing in response to the projected growth.
The investment is being made by through BP Ventures, which was set up more than 10 years ago to invest in technology.
Dominic Emery, BP’s group head of strategy, said: “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.”
Alan Shaw, chief executive and president of Calysta, said: “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.
“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 $500 million 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.
Meghan Sharp, managing director, BP Ventures, added: “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.
“Their technology complements our core business while providing opportunities for sustainable products for tomorrow.”