February 5, 2015
Tokyo, February 5, 2015 – IHI Corporation (HQ.: Toyosu Tokyo, Pres.: Tamotsu Saito), Kobe University (Loc: Kobe, Hyogo Pres.: Hideki Fukuda), and Neo-Morgan Laboratory Incorporated (HQ: Kawasaki, Kanagawa, CEO: Tomohiro Fujita), are pleased to announce that construction of a 1,500 square-meter open pond for an experimental algae cultivation in Nanatsujima, Kagoshima, Japan is under way. New Energy Industrial Technology Development Organization, NEDO (HQ: Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Pres.: Kazuo Furukawa) is supporting the project.
The R&D on bio-fuel production technology has been supported by NEDO since 2012. In November 2013, stable cultivation of*Botryococcus , algae with exceptionally high growth rate, was successfully completed in a 100 square-meter open pond located in IHI’s Yokohama Works. Aside from stable cultivation, the strain has also been improved on features such as enlarged colony size and better floating performance, which will ultimately reduce production costs.
The new 1,500 square-meter pond, one of the largest open ponds in Japan, will operate from 2015. The goal is to develop technologies to stabilize cultivation on a massive scale, and optimize the production process .The progress towards commercialization has also been made through exploration of sites for commercial cultivation in other countries.
* Hyper-growth Botryococcus is the strain of algae owned by Gene and Gene Technology Corporation Limited (HQ: Suita, Osaka, CEO: Takeru Enomoto) founded by Taira Enomoto, a professor at Kobe University.