The world’s largest mass microalgae biomass production facility, Chitose Carbon Capture Central (C4), which utilizes flat-panel photo-bioreactor technology, will open in April this year.
According to Chitose Laboratory Corp executive officer and chief bioengineer Takanori Hoshino, the project is funded by the Japanese government and involves collaboration with Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC), Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) and ENEOS Corporation.
“This project is being funded by the Japanese government for five years until the end of fiscal year 2024 and after that, we will use the C4 for commercial production of various products from the microalgae biomass,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Borneo Post here yesterday.
Microalgae biomass can be processed for various commercial applications such as jet fuel, plastic, paints, surfactants, truck fuel, proteins, feed and food products, as well as for pharmaceutical and cosmetics purposes.
“For example, starting from 2027, it is going to be mandatory for all airline companies globally to have certain percentage of their jet fuels to be mixed with biofuel and there is currently not enough supply of bio-jet fuel,” he said.
Hoshino added that once bio-jet fuel can be mass produced from microalgae biomass, they would eye exporting the product not only to Southeast Asian countries, but also to the United States and Europe.
He also highlighted that Sarawak is a preferred location for the microalgae farm due to the ideal temperature throughout the year, abundance of fresh water, and the state being safe from major natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes.
“Sarawak is also strategically located to access major international markets such as Japan, Taiwan, China, and Singapore, as well as having the availability of qualified and skilled local workforce.”