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Algae production to be set up at Hellisheidi geothermal plant in Iceland

Experimental production of Algaennovation at Hellisheidi, Iceland (source: ON)
Alexander Richter 20 Aug 2018

Expanding the utilisation of geothermal energy at the Hellisheidi power plant in Iceland, an Israeli startup has signed up a contract for energy to produce algae for Omega 3 cultivation.

Israel-based Algaennovation last week signed a 15-year contract with Icelandic energy utility and operator ON Power for the purchase of energy and other inputs for small-scale algae production, which will be the first of its kind in the world. This was reported by Icelandic engineering group Mannvit, which has been preparing for the start of production of Algaennovation since February. Mannvit has been responsible for all design, procurement and project management for micro-algae production, located at the Geothermal Park of ON Power at the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant.

Algaennovation is an international technology startup that has been developing new technologies for the production of microorganisms. The first phase of the project will be done this year. It is planned to start production of seafood feed in the middle of next year. If production is successful, it is estimated that the total investment of the project will run on billions of ISK (millions USD) in the next 5 years.

The project is a very positive step towards further utilization of the energy generated by ON Power at Hellisheidi, where Algaeennovation buys hot and cold water, electricity and carbon dioxide for production. In the press release ON on the occasion of the agreement, “Algaennovation small algae production will be located in Geothermal Park ON and will be delivered directly from Hellisheiði Power Station, environmentally friendly electricity, hot and cold water and carbon dioxide. Collaboration with ON enables Algaennovation to have negative footprints and use less than 1% of freshwater and terrestrial areas used by conventional small-scale algae companies in their production. Such output is an important step towards waste to value and will promote sustainable innovation in this country. ”

Small algae are micro-organisms that multiply rapidly and get their energy and nutrition from light and carbon dioxide, that’s a phototope. In nature, a small algae is a source of a variety of nutrients, such as Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and dyes. All these substances are key factors in both human and animal diet.

In autumn 2017, the company started experimental cultivation of small algae at the Hellisheidi power plant. ON provided facilities, electricity, hot and cold water and carbon dioxide for the experiments. Algaennovation has decided to take the next step and prides itself on building a small algae production within the Geothermal Park of ON, which will be the first of its kind in the world. It is planned to start production of seafood feed in the middle of next year.

ON has in recent years worked on the development of multifunctional geothermal energy in the Geothermal Park at the Hellisheidi Power Plant.

Source: Mannvit, ON Power