ALGAVILLAGE, A COMPANY PARTICIPATED BY FIRGLÁS AND BIORIZON BIOTECH, WILL INVEST MORE THAN 3 MILLION EUROS IN THE LITORAL MICROALGAE PLANT

  • November 26, 2021
  • Algae

Endesa and ALGAVILLAGE (Microalgas Carboneras, SL), a joint venture between the British investment company Firglas and Biorizon Biotech dedicated to the manufacture of biotechnological solutions for agriculture, have reached an agreement to give continuity to the microalgae project on the grounds of the Plant Thermal Litoral once its closure occurs. 

This alliance with ALGAVILLAGE is contemplated within the Futur-e Plan that Endesa is carrying out in Litoral to achieve a just transition after its closure. To this end, Endesa is projecting some 1,500 megawatts of renewable power, mainly photovoltaic, in the province of Almería to replace the 1,159 megawatts of power from the Litoral thermal power plant and has launched an international competition to find an industrial project that involves a reactivation proposal economic and labor in Carboneras. 

Endesa and Algavillage have signed a collaboration agreement whereby the latter will build an innovative commercial scale microalgae facility to implement the findings from the research and development work that Endesa began in 2006 at its Litoral Thermal Power Plant. 

According to the agreement reached, Algavillage, a company formed by the British company Firglas and Biorizon Biotech, will invest in the construction of a new microalgae plant for its exploitation, together with the existing pilot plant, for a period of 10 years, with the possibility of extension. In this way, the Litoral microalgae production project, which began in 2006 to generate new products and increase the profitability of microalgae cultivation technology on an industrial scale, will realise its research and development work once the closure of the central. 

The new plant to be built by ALGAVILLAGE will generate employment and a direct investment of more than three million euros in the area during the assembly period and its subsequent operation and maintenance. 

The new investments will be focused on obtaining high quality raw material that can be used in food. Microalgae are one of the largest superfoods, with numerous health benefits, among which their Omega-3 oil content stands out. 

Extracting Omega-3 oil from microalgae is one of the most advantageous methods of sourcing the product, both more sustainable and with fewer by-products than Omega-3 oil derived from fish. 

This initiative responds to the company’s commitment to carry out a just energy transition through its Futur-e Plan that, in addition to the replacement of Litoral’s generation capacity with clean and renewable technologies, leads to the generation of wealth and employment in Carboneras through the development of industrial projects that meet social and environmental sustainability criteria.

The microalgae plant of the Litoral Thermal Power Plant, with an area of 1,500 m2, has been researching for 15 years to demonstrate the uses of microalgae for the capture and fixation of CO2 and its extracts of interest in the food sector. 

During this period, it has participated in different research projects such as Algae for Healthy World, a consortium to produce microalgae biocomposites with food applications constituted by AINIA, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CSIC-CIB), Mar Cristal Marilum, Neoalgae Micro Seaweeds Products, Novatec and the University of Cádiz with the aim of developing the necessary biotechnological tools to improve and optimize the production of biomass of marine origin.

To this end, in addition to the international tender to search for projects, Endesa will install some 1,200 megawatts of renewable power, mainly photovoltaic, which will replace the 1,159 megawatts of power from the Litoral thermal power plant in order to replace the generation capacity of this power plant thermal by clean and renewable technologies. This will involve an investment of hundreds of millions of euros, new employment opportunities and training in renewable energies to improve people’s employability. 

Endesa is in permanent contact with the main players involved in the development of the Futur-e Litoral Plan, as well as with local, regional and national administrations, to coordinate the entire process in order to create shared value with all agents and to achieve processes just transition to new business models.

Firglas: Firglas is a London based developer and operator of commercial microalgae and bacteria cultures, with a management team track record of deploying more than £150 million in this field. The company is addressing existing markets with resource efficient models and measurable positive impact. 

Firglas and Biorizon have jointly established Microalgas Carboneras, S.L., trading as ALGAVILLAGE to realise this production facility. 

Biorizon Biotech: Biorizon Biotech is focused on the field of biotechnology. Its studies and developments have focused from the outset on the innumerable applications of microalgae, cyanobacteria and bacteria in the field of intensive and ecological agriculture, developing unique techniques and processes to improve the growth of plants and fruits and the development of biopesticides. to replace current chemicals. 

It has different facilities, where ÁGORA-SABANA stands out, the largest indoor microalgae cultivation plant in Europe focused on agricultural applications. It also has processing plants and production of its products for agriculture and animal feed. 

About Endesa: Endesa is the leading electricity company in Spain and the second in Portugal. It is also the second gas operator in the Spanish market. It develops an integrated business from generation to commercialization and also offers, through Endesa X, value-added services aimed at decarbonizing energy uses in homes, companies, industries and Public Administrations. 

Endesa is firmly committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, as such, strongly promotes renewable energies through Enel Green Power Spain, the electrification of the economy and corporate social responsibility. In this last area, we also act from the Endesa Foundation. Our human team has around 9,600 employees. Endesa is part of Enel, the largest electricity group in Europe.