AlgaEnergy’s microalgae production facility in Cádiz, Spain

AlgaEnergy, a Spanish biotechnology company specializing in the production and commercial applications of microalgae, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation, a leading provider of industrial automation, control, and measurement technology, have announced the signing of an equity participation agreement to build an industry-leading partnership in the microalgae biotech sector worldwide. The strategic agreement involves an approximately 10 million euro investment by Yokogawa to acquire newly issued shares of AlgaEnergy, making the Japanese company a reference shareholder.

AlgaEnergy has been a pioneer in the microalgae biotechnology field since 2007. It is currently operating a commercial production facility in the south of Spain, and, in late 2015, launched the world’s first line-up of microalgae-based biostimulant products to promote efficient crop cultivation.

The entry of Yokogawa as a shareholder will enable AlgaEnergy fund a set of ambitious projects, including international expansion of its biostimulant product sales organization, entry into new sectors such as food and cosmetics, and further development of its product pipeline.

The scope of the agreement extends beyond just financial investment. The two companies, which share strong synergies and a common vision, seek to build an industry-leading partnership in the microalgae biotechnology sector worldwide by collaborating in the areas of R&D, manufacturing, marketing, and sales.

AlgaEnergy will leverage its knowledge and experience in the microalgae biological processes, accumulated over more than four decades of R&D by its scientific leader, world-renowned microbiologist Professor Miguel Garcia Guerrero, of the University of Seville. Yokogawa will provide the advanced technologies and knowhow related to automation of industrial processes that will be key for maximizing quality and efficiency as production volumes increase.

Augusto Rodríguez-Villa, AlgaEnergy’s president, highlighted that, “This agreement is the best possible partnership in the journey to achieve our mission to leverage the potential of microalgae worldwide. We share the same vision for the future, the belief that more sustainable development is possible and that microalgae can be a key contributor towards that objective.”

Tsuyoshi Abe, senior vice president and head of the Marketing Headquarters at Yokogawa, added, “This is our first serious foray into clean technology in the bioeconomy, which was recently added as a new focus area in our long-term business framework, so we have high expectations for this exciting strategic partnership.”