Algae oil extraction technology developer OriginOil has signed a commercial agreement with algae producer Aquaviridis to work on a multi-phase algae production rollout at a facility in Mexicali, Mexico.
Under the agreement, OriginOil will provide its expertise to help develop growth and harvesting solutions and implement appropriate OriginOil technologies. The Mexico facility is being developed as a potential model for algae sites throughout the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) region, with a focus on desert areas of the American Southwest and Mexico.
Minnesota-based Aquaviridis is backed by private sector funding, with plans to immediately scale up from research and development to ten acres of pilot algae production by the middle of this year. Commercial scale production capacity is expected by the second quarter of 2013. Aquaviridis selected the Mexicali Valley as a strategic location due to favorable growing conditions, strong local and governmental support, and available sources of carbon dioxide.
“The Mexicali Valley is a great place to develop an algae industry, given its climate and access to industry research and resources throughout North America,” said OriginOil vice president of marketing Ken Reynolds. “With the U.S. as a neighboring market for high value exports, Mexico is in an excellent position to take the lead in areas such as research and production of algae for nutritional products, animal feed, and oil for biofuels, which would create long-term regional economic growth and job production.”