Dutch microalgae producer Duplaco will expand production 20-fold in a new location

To facilitate this growth, the production environment is translocated from Hengelo to Oldenzaal, the eastern part of the Netherlands

As producer of Chlorella and wholesaler of microalgae, Duplaco is investing greatly in a bigger production of up to 20-fold of the current capacity.

With the newest technology and a modern research and development centre, the company is making a new step: from promising start-up towards mature scale-up of serious size.

This will make Duplaco one of the biggest algae producer in Europe and an important player on the world stage in solving the pressing food shortage.

As noted, the short-term planning is for the location in Oldenzaal to deliver 20 times more product. Marcel Oogink, the founder of Duplaco, additionally describes his view of a horizon much wider than that: “Our wish is to produces 100 times more within 5 years. This comprises a growth from 10–15 tonnes a year to 200 to 300 tonnes a year in microalgae, produced as a quality food supplement in fresh and powdered form.”

According to Oogink, this is a feasible ambition: “With the explosive demand for meat replacements and the imminent shortage of resources for vegetable protein, there are plenty of green flags for our company to take this step."

"Furthermore, we are not dependent on sunlight or great arable land surfaces and therefore need minimal production surface. Also, we are ahead of the game with our innovative production techniques. Partly through our contacts with knowledge institutes as Wageningen University and Research, we are continuously optimising our innovation process.”

Microalgae as answer to resource scarcity

The demand for meat replacers seems unstoppable. On Saturday 4 January, the Dutch financial newspaper, Het Financieel Dagblad, reported that business banker Barclays expects that the worldwide revenue of met replacers will rise to $140 billion in 10 years.

The other side of this coin is that this growth will lead to a scarcity of resources, with a consequential rise in the prices of soy-protein.

Marcel Oogink considers (heterotrophic) cultivation of algae as one of the answers to this imminent resource scarcity: “With a protein content of about 45% and developments for >60% protein containing algae, Duplaco microalgae are the sustainable alternative for, for example soy and meat products as foodstuffs."

"I therefore believe that algae will live up to their name as ‘sustainable promise’ at high speed in the near future. That is why this is the right time for us to scale up our production.”

More tailor-made possibilities for customers

In the near future, Duplaco will be producing tailor-made algae for customers. With the translocation to Oldenzaal, that desire is now within reach: “Tailor-made options were already delivered in our R&D centre in Hengelo by using techniques as metabolic engineering, strain selection and bioaccumulation."

"The new R&D centre in Oldenzaal gives us space to invest in higher quality and quantity of tailor-made products for producers of foodstuffs and animal feed.”

A good name that tastes like more

Thanks to a refined cultivation process , Duplaco has built a good reputation as producer of microalgae. “We also have the good flavour of the fresh and powdered algae to thank for this.

Therefore, several foodstuffs have already been developed with our algae, including vegan burgers, pastas and bread. With the translocation, nothing stands in our way of further developments. With the upscaling of our production, I therefore expect us to provide more (international) food manufacturers with our algae as a functional ingredient in meat replacers or as supplement.”