Aurora Algae completes construction of Australian site

By Anna Simet | August 22, 2013

In collaboration with the Durack Institute of Technology, Australia-based Aurora Algae reported that it has completed construction of a new algae cultivation site in Geraldton, Western Australia, and will evaluate the potential of the region for the production of microalgae.

The development comes just under one year after the company received a $2 million grant from the Australian government, which was used to advance the company’s demonstration facility in Karratha, Australia, which has been operating since May 2011. It also enabled completion of a pilot facility comprised of six one-acre ponds, which has demonstrated the capability of producing up to 15 metric tons of dried algal biomass per month.

“We have fully leveraged the Karratha site, demonstrating the efficient functioning of a small-scale operation, while continuing to refine our cultivation and harvesting processes,” said Greg Bafalis, CEO of Aurora Algae. “With the Karratha site, we believe we have demonstrated the most technologically advanced algae production system in the world. Having achieved this milestone, we are now preparing for the commercial production stage of our operation, beginning with a careful evaluation of various additional potential cultivation sites.”

The site of the new algae cultivation site—Geraldton—is approximately 620 miles south of Karratha, and is a contender for an Aurora commercial site. “Beyond favorable weather conditions and proximity to the coast, Geraldton also offers a stable, local work force and the additional benefit of being home to the Batavia Coast Marine Institute, whose facilities provide a great environment for ongoing research and development activities,” Mr. Bafalis explained.

The Batavia Coast Maritime Institute is part of the Durack Institute of Technology and is a state-of-the- art training, research and development facility located at Separation Point in Geraldton.