BASF and Saudi firm unite on ‘new algae species’ project

A satellite picture of NPC's western Saudia Arabia man-made lakes where it farms prawns and algae

BASF has teamed with a Saudi firm researching algae species in open lakes around the Red Sea with a view to use the biomass in beverages and food supplements.

The National Prawn Company (NPC) has been working aquaculture prawn and algae projects in man-made lakes since the 1980s at its western Saudi Arabia base by the Red Sea.

BASF said that location was key in its interest in NPC due to the stability of the climate and potential for a stable supply of algae.

“With our portfolio in the market segments of food, beverages and dietary supplements we are able to meet and anticipate future needs. At the same time we are constantly trying to enhance nutrition quality and promote technological innovations,” said Michael Ceranski, senior VP of BASF Human Nutrition.

“Within these ambitious goals new partnerships like the collaboration with National Prawn Company are fundamental for us: NPC gives us access to more biomass from algae and to use and leverage the all-year non-changing climate conditions in Saudi Arabia.”

NPC chairman Sulaiman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi added: “The today signed contract is marking once more the ability of Saudi Companies to be equal partners withWorld Class enterprises like BASF. It also shows that we are capable of offering solutions for domestic andglobal needs.”

BASF said it possessed the technologies and know-how for, “further processing the algae biomass into products used in beverages and dietary supplements.”

NPC sells its wares in 30 countries including the UK, Spain, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the US, China and Australia.

BASF was not available for further comment at the time of publication.

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