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Bioprotein begins

February 17, 1999, 14:40 CET

The first bag of bioprotein was produced on 6 February from a new facility at Statoil's Tjeldbergodden complex in mid-Norway.

This plant has so far produced 20 tonnes of the product, which is derived from natural gas supplied by the group's Heidrun field in the Norwegian Sea.

Reaching full production and the maximum capacity of roughly 10,000 tonnes per annum is likely to take three-six months, says plant manager Kurt Strand.

The bioprotein facility belongs to Norferm, which is in turn owned 50-50 by Statoil and Anglo-Norwegian pharmaceuticals group Nycomed Amersham.

Norferm has developed a method for converting natural gas to the bioprotein product, which contains 70 per cent protein, 12 per cent carbohydrates, 10 per cent fats and eight per cent minerals.

Two Norwegian companies have purchased about 70 per cent of the plant's output as additives for animal and fish feed.