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BAL Chile SA is currently farming algae on Chiloé Island eventually to produce bio-fuels for industrial use.
BAL Chile SA CEO Benjamin González said, “Within the next five years we expect to be producing at commercial scale. At present, BAL is developing algae farming on the island of Chiloé and we are looking for alternatives to expand our testing in the north. There has been significant algae productivity improvements and cost reductions,” adding that by 2013 “the company expects to achieve the necessary production parameters for the commercial viability of the production of carbohydrates based on seaweed aquaculture farming.”
As macro-algae grow in the water, they do not have lignin, a compound in which plants tend to store sugars and that makes bio-disposition difficult but González noted of his company’s efforts, ”This, together with the enzymes produced by the microbes developed by BAL, makes entry easier and more economical to these sugars,” Mercopress reported.
According to González, BAL has partnered with U.S. firm DuPont and Norway’s Statoil to proceed, while garnering fiscal underwriting from various global private equity firms, including X/Seed (California), Chioe’s Capital Austral, Norway’s Energy Capital Management, the U.S. Department of Energy and Chilean firm Innova Corfo.
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com