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iCell to start US eel and EU RAS salmon aquaculture projects

Thursday, October 15, 2020

iCell Sustainable Nutrition will begin on-site pilot work for a 1,000-ton eel aquaculture project to be located in the northeastern U.S. The company has been working with various sites in the U.S. that need solutions to their food process and water treatment issues and is also working with investors to obtain CAPEX funds needed for projects to solve these water issues and, at the same time, build integrated seafood aquaculture at these same sites.

iCell’s lead project is slated for the Northeast U.S. - the exact location has not yet been publicly identified – and will support the water treatment needs of multiple existing seafood processors, providing them the capacity to scale performance, which is currently limited by water treatment costs and water effluent regulations.  

Although iCell currently operates three large-scale commercial facilities in Asia cleaning water and producing single-cell proteins, due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions, investors and project developers and approvers cannot visit the existing iCell sites, so iCell is establishing a mobile pilot processing unit in the U.S. The unit will replicate the iCell protein production, recovery and water treatment processes. iCell CEO, Mark Rottmann, said that “local authorities and site partners just want to see it in action with their own eyes before going ahead with approvals.”  

A third-party environmental engineering firm has been selected to execute the work and it is expected to be completed in November, at which point regulators can approve the water purity and recycling capability generated by the process. The unit is already scheduled for use at additional sites after the work completion in New England, USA.  

First project in the EU market

iCell also entered into a collaboration agreement with Quality Salmon that secures the water circularity in the construction and operations of Europe's largest blue-green industrial park for salmon farming to be built on the west coast of Sweden. The agreement states that iCell will construct and operate its water cleaning and nutrient recovery provider by using water from the RAS farm and the harvesting and processing facility to extract single-cell proteins. This will be iCell’s first entry into the European Market.

When fully developed, the Quality Salmon Industry park will operate on a 140-hectare land site producing up to 100,000 tons of Atlantic salmon per year. The industrial park will include all functions and production will almost entirely be a circular economy that contains feed factory, salmon farm, harvesting, processing, management of residual products and water purification.

The collaboration with iCell will provide 100% nutrient extraction and water recycle the RAS project. “This will be decisive to reach the goal of establishing a blue-green circular industrial park for salmon farming with zero emissions and a positive CO2 footprint with the help of 100% green energy. The commitment from both parties further strengthens the foundation to move forward with more industrial partners and suppliers,” said Roy W. Høiås, CEO of Lighthouse Finance and Quality Salmon Sotenäs.

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