Taiwan Cement to expand its microalgae farm

Taiwan Cement to expand its microalgae farm
Published: 20 July 2016


Taiwan Cement Corp yesterday announced plans to expand its microalgae farm, which produces astaxanthin, a key ingredient in high-priced skincare products. Not only would the expanded microalgae farm produce astaxanthin, it would decrease CO2 levels by 4800tpa by using the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and Taiwan Cements carbon capture technology, said Taiwan Cement Chairman, Leslie Koo.

The company began developing carbon capture techniques in Taiwan with the ITRI in 2011. The two parties discovered that captured CO2 can be used to grow microalgae, an important constituent of biofuels.

The cement maker is to invest TWD200m (US$6.25m) to expand its existing microalgae centre into a 20ha outdoor microalgae farm, with an estimated annual production value of about TWD400m, the company said. The expanded plant wil be ready in the first half of next year, Leslie Koo told reporters.

In light of the business potential of growing astaxanthin, Taiwan Cement and the ITRI signed a contract to extend their technical cooperation, aiming to make growing microalgae a real business opportunity.
The focus of the cooperation is to help Taiwan Cement expand its production of astaxanthin.

By stepping into the value chain of the biotech industry, a circular economy could be established, turning waste into renewable resources, ITRI President, Liu Jonq-min, said.