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Energy, Mining & Resources

CHITOSE Group, Leading Company of “MATSURI” Project, Starts Operating World’s Largest Microalgae Production Facility


CHITOSE Group (hereinafter “CHITOSE”), an entity formed by biotechnology startups managed by CHITOSE BIO EVOLUTION PTE. LTD. based in Japan and Singapore, announced on March 28 that the construction of a 5-hectare microalgae production facility called “CHITOSE Carbon Capture Central (hereinafter ‘C4’)” was completed and the production of microalgae has been started in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. CHITOSE plans to establish the stable, continuous, and large-scale production of microalgae. CHITOSE’s production technology aims at proceeding with the development of applications for a wide range of industrial materials, including fuels and plastics. This project is funded by the Japanese government-funded New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) (*1).

Photo1: C4’s facility:

Long version (2:45):
Short version (0:40):

CHITOSE aims for zero carbon emission through the photoautotrophic microalgae production and through the MATSURI (meaning “festival” in Japanese) project, which is designed to establish a microalgae-based industry replacing the petroleum-based industry (*2). At the same time, CHITOSE aims at developing diverse products used in daily life from microalgae, including fuels, plastics, foods and toiletry, in collaboration with its business partners. C4 is expected to demonstrate the efficient and scalable production of microalgal biomass (utilizing photobioreactor technologies). At C4, gas exhausted from a neighboring coal-fired power plant is used as a carbon source, and the produced microalgal biomass will be used for sustainable production of SAF and other products. C4 is expected to produce 350 dry tons of microalgal biomass per year, fixing 700 tons of CO2 per year.

Towards 2030, CHITOSE is planning to expand the production to 2,000 ha and is currently in the process of raising funds for this plan. In algae production on a scale of 2,000 ha, approximately 140,000 dry tons of microalgal dry-biomass per year will be produced, and the production cost will be less than USD2.5 per kg biomass. Hence, the produced microalgal biomass will be used as a raw material for various products. Further, CHITOSE is aiming to expand the production to over 10,000,000 ha, which is approximately 1/20 of the world’s maize-harvested area and will produce 700 million dry tons of microalgal biomass annually. The production cost will potentially fall to less than USD0.5 per kg biomass. CHITOSE will continue to promote zero carbon emission and realize a sustainable society.

(*1) Adopted as a Green Innovation Fund project for development of bio-jet fuel production technology, development of microalgae base technology, and R&D of power plant exhaust gas and Flexible plastic film-type photos under the outdoor environment of tropical climate

(*2) Autotrophic and heterotrophic production
In autotrophic production based on photosynthesis, sunlight and inorganic carbon, CO2, are used as energy and carbon sources, respectively. Autotrophic production, therefore, is considered as sustainable energy/material production. In heterotrophic production, organic compounds such as sugars are used as both energy and carbon sources. Although the system is able to offer stable production, it is considered as a CO2-emitting conversion process.

– C4’s grand opening
Date: 9:00-10:00, Tuesday, April 4, 2023
Venue: C4 in Kuching, Sarawak State, Malaysia
Outline: C4-opening ceremony to be attended by government officials from Sarawak State and Japan; C4 site tour also to be organized by CHITOSE

– C4-launching ceremony
Date: 10:30-13:30, Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Venue: C4 in Kuching, Sarawak State, Malaysia
Outline: C4-launching ceremony with the Premier of Sarawak, local partners and MATSURI partners from Japan and a networking event and a C4 site tour organized by CHITOSE

Related press release:

The MATSURI project aims towards the establishment of an advanced microalgae-based industry. CHITOSE has considerable expertise in large-scale microalgae production technologies, and is leading the MATSURI project collaborating with Japanese progressive enterprises. As what MATSURI means in Japanese, CHITOSE keeps leading a festival to develop a sustainable society.


MATSURI Gallery:

About CHITOSE Group
CHITOSE Group is a family of biotechnology companies leading the global bioeconomy. To live in abundance beyond the next millennium using the ability of living things, CHITOSE pursues the possibilities of biotechnology through technological and business development collaborating with its business partners all over the world.

About CHITOSE BIO EVOLUTION PTE. LTD. (head office that oversees entire Group)
Established in October, 2011
Head Office located in Singapore
CEO: Tomohiro FUJITA, Ph. D.

About CHITOSE Laboratory Corp. (responsible for the project)
Established in November, 2002
Head Office located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
CEO: Tomohiro FUJITA, Ph. D.