Aker BioMarine inks deal with GEA to supply the process systems for its new krill-based protein plant in Norway
GEA, one of the world’s largest systems suppliers for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical sectors, estimates the pilot plant will be operational in late 2022.
With the signing of an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for delivery of process equipment with GEA, Aker BioMarine is taking the next step toward commercialization of INVI.
INVI is a premium krill-based protein ingredient for use in food, beverage and nutraceutical segments targeted towards sports nutrition and general wellness consumers. Sustainably sourced from pure Antarctic waters and with a best in class nutritional profile and unique functional benefits, INVI provides new and exciting opportunities for brands to launch innovative products. This is on trend with the growing consumer demand for alternative protein sources and industry investment in the space.
As the first purpose-built krill protein development and production facility, the site will enable fast paced product and process development, as well as volume for commercial launch partners.
GEA will design, supply and install an integrated system of equipment and process installations to produce INVI from krill. The plant is designed with high flexibility to facilitate further product development and innovation.
“With GEA’s experience in engineering facilities and systems for industries like ours, we aim for a highly innovative, technology-based plant, which will also house a research and innovation centre,” says Kees van de Watering, VP Process Engineering.
“We aim to closely collaborate with Aker BioMarine in the development of their krill-based protein plant in order to create a state-of-the-art plant that optimizes production, puts innovation first, and makes use of the digital solutions at our disposal today,” says Heinz-Jürgen Kroner, SVP Liquid Technologies at GEA. “It’s an exciting pilot that will set the standard for future INVI production facilities, and we’re thrilled to be a part of its development.”
After running a global site search process, Aker BioMarine selected Ski Næringspark in Norway as the location of the facility. In selecting this site, Aker BioMarine will contribute to the further development of the competence environment for marine biotechnology in Norway and leverage R&D expertise from its headquarters in Fornebu. The investment was made possible by the support received through Innovation Norway's Extraordinary Innovation Grant to bring these activities home after early development in Denmark and the U.S.
GEA is one of the world’s largest systems suppliers for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical sectors, with a strong focus on enhancing the sustainability and efficiency of production processes. GEA is a global company with more than 18,000 employees and is listed on the German MDAX and the STOXX Europe 600 index. GEA is well-represented in Norway, having delivered several projects for well-known players in the food, dairy and biotechnology sectors.
INVI is made from the partially hydrolyzed protein isolate derived from sustainably sourced Antarctic krill. This ingredient will provide an alternative for the nutritional food and beverage market to plant- and animal-based products. It recently received the status as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) which allows Aker BioMarine to begin sales and marketing INVI in the U.S. as an effective source of protein in food and beverages.
About Aker BioMarine
Aker BioMarine is a biotech innovator and Antarctic krill-harvesting company, dedicated to improving human and planetary health. Listed on Oslo Stock Exchange, the company develops krill-based ingredients for pharmaceutical, nutraceutical (Superba®), aquaculture (QRILL® Aqua), and animal feed applications (QRILL® Pet), including INVI™, a highly concentrated protein isolate, and LYSOVETA™, a targeted transporter of EPA and DHA from krill. Aker BioMarine’s fully transparent value chain stretches from sustainable krill harvesting in pristine Antarctic waters through its Montevideo logistics hub, Houston production plant, and to customers around the world. The company’s strong focus on sustainability inspired the launch of AION by Aker BioMarine, a circularity company dedicated to helping companies to recycle and reuse waste. Read more: www.akerbiomarine.com