Mitsubishi Corporation invests in, and partners with, single-cell producers Unibio

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Danish Unibio International – which turns natural gas into feed – has raised additional capital from Mitsubishi Corporation.

In a press release, single cell producer Unibio writes that it is to enter into a partnership with Japanese global integrated business enterprise Mitsubishi (owners of salmon farmer Cermaq) to support the roll out of projects on a global scale.

Unibio is an alternative protein company with core competences in microbial fermentation technologies. In collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark and others, Unibio has developed a range of technologies under the U-Loop brand. These technologies allow what it calls “the cost-effective, large-scale conversion of methane (natural gas or biogas) into protein using methanotrophic (“methane-eating”) microbes.”

Uniprotein is its microbial protein that has been approved by the EU for all animal and fish species.

The alternative protein business will be developed together with Unibio and Mitsubishi Corporation, who considers that it has a variety of existing and potential functions to add value and develop the new Single Cell Protein business model covering the entire methane-to-food value chain.

“We are very pleased to welcome Mitsubishi as a shareholder and partner,” says Unibio Group CEO Henrik Busch-Larsen. “Having a world-renowned partner, with an excellent track record, brings a lot of momentum to Unibio. It has been a pleasure working with the Mitsubishi team, we have built trust and a very good relationship, and I would like to thank Mitsubishi for their support and their commitment to the Unibio vision.”

Unibio opened its Denmark-based fermentation plant to convert natural gas into a highly concentrated, single-cell protein and produce up to 80 tonnes per year in 2016.

The first full-scale production plant, constructed and operated by Unibio’s partner Protelux, is being commissioned in Russia to produce 6,000 tonne per year of single-cell protein but expects to reach 100,000 in the next few years with more plants.

It has signed two licence agreements for the U-Loop technology, one for the Russian Federation and one for the USA.