Qatar’s first single-cell protein plant enters pre-construction phase

4-Oct-2022

The Uniprotein plant has entered the front-end engineering design stage, the final stage before construction

Qatar’s first single-cell protein plant enters pre-construction phase

Protein company Unibio has announced that its strategic licensing partner, the Doha-based industrial biotech investor Gulf Biotech, has reached the final stage before the construction of the first single-cell protein (‘SCP’) plant in Qatar. 

Qatar is a country that is rich in natural gas resources but has little or no farmland or the ability to produce protein for its population or the surrounding region. By using Unibio’s technology to produce protein locally, it helps to utilise their abundant resources which directly enhance food security. 

The plant will use Unibio’s U-Loop technology, where methane is converted through continuous fermentation to produce Uniprotein. The Uniprotein produced in the plant will be used as a protein supplement in feed for fish and animals to supplement the deficit due to shortages of fish meal or soy. The production of Uniprotein is highly resource-efficient and sustainable compared with the production of traditional protein. Relative to soy production, Uniprotein uses no arable land and significantly less water. Initial production is estimated to be 9,000 tonnes of protein per year.

Through the planning and the feasibility study we have had a professional and constructive dialogue with Unibio to develop the project and adapt the plant to Qatar conditions

Gulf Biotech, represented by His Excellency Hitmi Al-Hitmi, has shown its commitment to using innovative technology and Qatar’s natural resources to tackle the highly pressing challenge of producing sustainable food for the world’s rapidly growing population. Gulf Biotech has completed their feasibility study on the viability of the plant.  The FEED for the development of the plant is due to be completed by early 2023. 

David Henstrom, CEO of Unibio, commented: “We are absolutely delighted with the progress made together with Gulf Biotech in reaching the FEED stage at what will be Qatar’s first single cell protein (‘SCP’) plant.  We need innovators and visionaries if we are to provide food security for the world’s growing population in a sustainable way, especially at a time when the global cost of food continues to rise. Qatar’s abundance of methane makes it an ideal region to use our technology. I am confident that together with our partners, we will play a pivotal role in being part of the solution in Qatar and beyond and look forward to updating our investors on this FEED result in due course.” 

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His Excellency Hitmi Al-Hitmi, Founder of Gulf Biotech, said: “Through the planning and the feasibility study we have had a professional and constructive dialogue with Unibio to develop the project and adapt the plant to Qatar conditions. We look forward to finalising the FEED phase and starting the construction of the first sustainable protein plant in Qatar. We see enormous potential for the future of sustainable development of our business and achieving food security for the country by providing a sustainable and economically viable source for animal feed products.”

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