Heliae breaks ground on commercial algae demonstration facility

By Heliae | May 22, 2012

Arizona-based algae technology company Heliae broke ground on a commercial demonstration facility last week that will showcase the scalability and economics of its proprietary algae technology platform.

"Over the last two years, we have made significant strides in research and development to create a comprehensive algae technology solution," stated Dan Simon, president and CEO of Heliae. "Today, we 'walk the talk' as we roll-out and prove the technology that will allow our partners to grow, harvest and extract algae on a commercial scale." 

By enabling the scaled production of algae, Heliae's technology will allow its partners to access the billion dollar markets of functional foods, animal feeds, fuels, chemicals, pharmaceutical and cosmetics. These dynamic markets are all demanding sustainable alternatives and algae can fulfill this need. Heliae's technology platform will make this possible.

Frank Mars, co-founder and chairman of the board for Heliae said, "This is a critical step for Heliae and the algae industry. Harnessing the full value of this plant will help generations overcome constraints in soil fertility, animal and fish feeds, human nutrition and health, and sustainable transportation fuels. Today, Heliae takes the world a step closer to realizing this potential."

In the next few years, Heliae plans to build several additional facilities across the globe. With the recent investment from the Salim Group, one of the largest diversified agrifood conglomerates in Southeast Asia, Heliae is well-positioned to expand beyond North America and deploy sites throughout the Asia Pacific region.  

The new facility comprises 20 acres adjacent to Heliae's Gilbert, Ariz., headquarters. The site will be constructed in phases over the next 18 months. 

Additionally at the groundbreaking, Heliae sold its first barrel of algae-based jet fuel to its partner SkyNRG. This transaction marked a milestone in the partnership with a long term objective of producing sustainable jet fuel from algae.