AlgaEnergy, a Spanish biotechnology company specializing in the production and commercial applications of microalgae, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation, a leading provider of industrial automation, control, and measurement technology, announce the signing of a partnership & equity participation agreement. The strategic agreement involves an approximately 10-million-euro investment by Yokogawa to acquire newly issued shares of AlgaEnergy, making the Japanese company a reference shareholder in the microalgae biotechnology field.
Microalgae are a diverse group of unicellular photosynthetic micro-organisms that can thrive in a wide variety of aquatic habitats, such as oceans, lakes, and rivers. Their rapid rate of reproduction means they can be utilized effectively as a biological resource. They are recognized as having great potential to contribute to a more sustainable society through applications in diverse sectors ranging from agriculture, food, and animal feed through to pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, biomaterials and, in the future, sustainable biofuels. AlgaEnergy has been a pioneer in the microalgae biotechnology field since 2007. It is currently operating a commercial production facility in the south of Spain, and, in late 2015, launched the world's first line-up of microalgae-based biostimulant products to promote efficient crop cultivation.
The entry of Yokogawa as a shareholder will enable AlgaEnergy to reinforce its position of international leadership, with the equity investment being used to fund a set of ambitious projects, including international expansion of its biostimulant product sales organization, entry into new sectors such as food and cosmetics, and development of its promising product pipeline.
The two companies also seek to build an industry-leading partnership in the microalgae biotechnology sector worldwide by collaborating in the areas of R&D, manufacturing, marketing, and sales. AlgaEnergy will leverage its broad knowledge and experience in the microalgae biological processes, accumulated throughout more than four decades of R&D by its scientific leader, the world-renowned microbiologist Professor Miguel Garcia Guerrero of the University of Seville. Yokogawa will provide the advanced technologies and knowhow related to automation of industrial processes that will be key for maximizing quality and efficiency as production volumes increase.