Algae.Tec to list on Frankfurt Stock Exchange

By Erin Voegele | February 23, 2011

Algae.Tec Ltd. has been accepted to list on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FWB), resulting in a dual listing with the Australian Securities Exchange. According to Algae.Tec Executive Chairman Roger Stroud, the listing on the FWB gives the company access to the most significant sustainable energy market in the world.

The company is currently working to complete a demonstration facility in Australia, which is expected to begin operations during the first quarter of 2012. “We’ve already internally validated our procedure,” Stroud said, noting that the demonstration project will help provide third-party technology verification. “It’s all part of the process of getting everyone outside the company comfortable with your technology,” he said. “In doing that, we want as many people as possible to participate in the journey.” When compared to the FWB, the ASX is a relatively small stock exchange, Stroud said. The European market is also more cleantech oriented, he continued, noting the FWB listing will allow a larger pool of cleantech-oriented investors to invest in Algae.Tec and its projects.

Algae.Tec has been working to develop its algae cultivation technology for seven years. While the company did evaluate the use of open pond systems, Stroud said the amount of area required and the lack of control in terms of growth was determined to be prohibitively challenging. Instead, the company developed a closed photobioreactor system that is housed in a 40-foot shipping container featuring a light collection system. “What we do is grow the algae within these shipping containers, which we call modules,” he said. “You just put as many modules as you need to on a particular site.” The system offers important advantages in terms of space requirements, capital costs and operational costs, Stroud continued.

The primary focus of Algae.Tec is to produce algae that will be supplied to fuel producers, such as biodiesel plants, ethanol plants and refineries. “We are focused on growing algae and separating it into its oily component and its biomass component, and then selling those products—or raw materials—as feedstock for someone else to go and process,” Stroud said.

To date, Algae.Tec has identified six algae strains that could be used in its process. According to Stroud, each strain has unique characteristics that make it more amenable to certain markets. For example, strains that produce a comparatively high level of sugar could be employed in locations with a strong demand for cellulosic feedstocks. Strains that produce a relatively high percentage of lipids could be targeted for production in areas with strong demand for biodiesel feedstock.

The demonstration project Algae.Tec is developing in Australia will feature two algae production modules. “We believe we can achieve about 250 tons of dry algae per container,” Stroud said. “For the demonstration facility, we’ll just run two containers to show the world that what goes in comes out as algae at a high productive rate. That’s the main intention in terms of the demonstration facility. In parallel with that, we’ll get approval to put in some commercial plants; one in Australia, one or two in Asia, and eventually one in the U.S. Those will go in parallel with the demonstration facility so we can roll them out.”

Stroud estimates that construction on the first commercial-scale production facilities could begin in 2012. The first large-scale facility could be up and running by 2014, he noted. 


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