Bioprotein plant to start next month
Production of bioproteins is set to begin at the Norferm plant in mid-Norway during the middle of November.
Originally due to come on line in early October, this facility at the Tjeldbergodden industrial complex has suffered problems with a key circulation pump.
Start-up of the world's first bioprotein plant - which is part-owned by Statoil - will be a gradual process, reports manager Kurt Strand.
It is designed to produce about 10 000 tonnes of protein every year, with natural gas from Statoil's Heidrun field in the Norwegian Sea as feedstock. Initial output will be about 50 per cent of full capacity.
Seventy per cent of the annual output has been sold to agricultural supplier Felleskjøpet Rogaland Agder for use as an animal feed additive.
Bioprotein could also be utilised in glue production, Mr Strand notes. However, no contracts have yet been concluded for this application.
Owned 50-50 by Statoil and the Anglo-Norwegian Nycomed Amersham pharmaceutical group, Norferm has developed the production method. This uses bacteria feeding on gas to obtain high-value protein.