ITOCHU Announces the Start of an Overseas Demonstration Project to Culture Euglena

November 27, 2019

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President and COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has decided to conduct an overseas demonstration project (hereinafter the “Demonstration Project”) in collaboration with euglena Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Mitsuru Izumo, President: hereinafter “euglena Co.”) to culture euglena for animal feed and biofuel in Colombia, and has concluded a cooperative agreement with the partner company. This project is in addition to the project in Indonesia as announced on June 19, 2019. With this announcement, implementation systems for the Demonstration Project have been established and the project has started moving forward in earnest.

・ITOCHU Announces Conclusion of a Memorandum with euglena Co., Ltd. for the Start of an Overseas Demonstration Project to Culture Euglena (June 19, 2019)

After the release of the announcement above, Colombia was picked as a potential location for the Demonstration Project, in addition to Indonesia, from the viewpoint of production costs, climate for cultivation and the securing of locations. ITOCHU worked to establish implementation systems to culture euglena locally in collaboration with euglena Co. In doing so, it concluded an agreement for cooperation with Drummond Ltd. Colombia, a coal supplier, of which operations ITOCHU has participated in since 2011, thereby securing a location for experimental euglena cultivation in the proximity of a thermal power plant owned by this enterprise. Carbon dioxide and waste heat from the plant will be utilized.

Thermal power plant owned by Drummond Ltd. Colombia and test equipment for cultivation

Also, euglena Co. entered into a collaboration agreement with Popular University of Cesar in the department of Cesar, a major university in Colombia, and acquired research approval from local authorities for demonstration tests, which cannot be obtained by Japanese companies alone. Going forward, through the university, the company will export and import Japanese-grown euglena, collect local euglena and conduct research activities, such as outdoor euglena cultivation experiments. euglena Co. sent researchers to the country in August and all of the test equipment was procured. In early November, cultivation experiments were locally started.

Meanwhile, a local company and a university were chosen as partners in Indonesia, and euglena Co. has sent researchers to this country as well. Cultivation experiments will be started at the same time as Colombia. The countries for the implementation will be narrowed down based on test results during from the period of the next six months to one year. The scale of the demonstration tests are planned to be gradually expanded after that.

ITOCHU and euglena Co. will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth below through the Demonstration Project.