BDI breaks ground on algae production facility in Styria, Austria

By Ron Kotrba | January 26, 2018

Biodiesel technology and engineering firm BDI-BioEnergy International AG officially broke ground Jan. 26 on its new algae biomass production plant at Hartberg Ecopark in the Austrian state of Styria.

“We are very proud that we have been able to bring once again a product of our R&D into industrial realization,” said Edgar Ahn, member of the management board. “By building this industrial plant, we can guarantee location-independent and cost-efficient production of valuable, high-quality algae products under optimal, environmentally friendly conditions.”

The company has been researching algae production for years and developed its proprietary algae reactor system under its wholly owned subsidiary, BDI-BioLife Science GmbH, which will own and operate the plant as a raw material producer of algae for the food supplements, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries.

“We are all eager to build the plant as quickly as possible,” Ahn told Biodiesel Magazine. He said the annual capacity of the new algae plant will be 15 tons of algae biomass per year. “We are currently running a pilot plant at our R&D facility in Grambach, where we are able to produce several kilograms of algae biomass per week,” Ahn said. “We are using this material for tests and as product samples for potential future customers. The response is extremely positive. Our algae biomass contains approximately 5 percent astaxanthin,” a powerful antioxidant and carotenoid pigment.

The Minister of Economic Affairs Barbara Eibinger-Miedl said projects such as BDI-BioLife Science’s new algae production facility are the best way to strengthen Styrian communities. “They provide benefits, jobs and thus quality of life,” she said. “I am pleased that with the ground-breaking ceremony today, the starting signal for an important investment in the future is being made. I am sure this project will further accelerate the development of green technologies in Styria.”

Hartberg Mayor Markus Martschitsch added, “I am very pleased that this innovative and future-oriented production facility will be part of another development milestone of the Hartberg Ecopark.”

The CEO of Ökopark Errichtungs GmbH Stefan Lorenzoni said he welcomes BDI to the Ecopark and further joint projects in cooperation with different partners from science and the regional economy are being developed.  

In its 22nd year of business, BDI-BioEnergy International and its subsidiaries employ 110 people and is a market leader in various biodiesel technologies specializing in waste to value.


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