ITOCHU Announces Launch of Microalgae Euglena Cultivation Demonstration Project in Overseas Country

October 5, 2020

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that the NEDO project "Development of Production Technologies for Biojet Fuels/Development of Microalgae Base Technology/ Demonstration Research for a Next-generation Business Model for Biojet Fuels Based on Cascading Microalgae Biomass" has selected the overseas project demonstrating the cultivation of Euglena microalgae for feed and biofuel, that we are working together with euglena Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; hereinafter "euglena Co."). We will promote the following series of activities we made public last year, as a NEDO project in the future.

〇ITOCHU Announces Conclusion of a Memorandum with euglena Co. for the Start of an Overseas Demonstration Project to Culture Euglena  
June 19, 2019

〇ITOCHU Announces the Start of an Overseas Demonstration Project to Culture Euglena  
November 27, 2019

In Indonesia, which is an appropriate climate for the cultivation of microalgae, we will build a comprehensive system by collecting knowledge from a variety of industries to develop the technologies required to build cultivation demonstration facilities, harvest microalgae, extract algae oil, utilize residue, and other activities.
ITOCHU will be responsible for the investigation of policy trends on biojet fuels, market research on aquaculture feed, cost valuation of fertilizer procurement and product transportation, environmental assessment and a feasibility study of the entire supply chain.

Project period FY2020 to FY2024
(Commissioned project. However, it will be a subsidized project from FY2023)
Project size Details not disclosed. The total cost for the commissioned project and subsidized project
is assumed to be 0.5 to 3 billion yen.
Note: The above cost is changeable subject to future NEDO examination, budget and so on.
Co-contractor Euglena Co., Ltd., DENSO Corporation, ITOCHU Corporation, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation
Re-contractor Mitsubishi Kakoki Kaisha, Ltd., Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology,
Universitas Gadjah Mada (these three parties to be re-contracted by euglena),
and Chuo University (to be re-contracted by Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation)

The Euglena microalgae is able to absorb CO2 through photosynthesis and grows by storing carbon while generating oxygen. In this demonstration project, we will use the CO2 emitted by an adjacent coal-fired power plant to feed the photosynthesis of Euglena, which will not only lead to the development of non-fossil fuels but also contribute to a reduction of CO2 emissions from existing power plants.

This project will be one of ITOCHU’s initiatives for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations, to contribute to sustainable global development in cooperation with euglena Co. and other co-implementers.