AUSTRALIAN seaweed startup Immersion Group has received a cornerstone investment from one of the world’s largest seafood producers, Nissui Corporation, to accelerate the production of the native red seaweed asparagopsis, used as a methane inhibiting feed additive.
Proceeds from the investment will be directed into the construction of a new onshore asparagopsis production plant near Geelong in Victoria, which is to produce a methane reducing feed additive for livestock.
Nissui Corporation chief executive Shingo Hamada said the investment was an important step for the company to capitalise on the growing momentum behind Asparagopsis as a methane-reducing feed additive for ruminant livestock.
“We see an incredible opportunity to produce Asparagopsis, targeting premium beef markets in Australia and Japan”.
Mr Hamada said the investment would facilitate the expansion of a new seaweed division at Nissui.
“Nissui’s existing marketing and distribution channels present an opportunity to develop a global Asparagopsis brand with Immersion Group, capable of servicing markets worldwide.”
Japan-based Nissui Corporation was the second-largest seafood producer globally in 2022 based on revenues of $8 billion.
Immersion Group CEO Scott Elliott said the Nissui investment would allow Immersion Group to rapidly scale the company’s proprietary onshore production technique for Asparagopsis and move into other geographies globally.
“There are 1 billion cattle in the world, and to have a cornerstone investor and strategic partner in Nissui puts us at the forefront of servicing this unheralded demand.”
“Immersion Group was founded on a simple premise: we didn’t want to be the biggest Asparagopsis producer immediately, but we did want to be the best.”
Asparagopsis from the production plant will be directed into supplying trials in Australia and Japan. The proposed onshore plant will compliment Immersion Group’s existing operations in
Portarlington and Queenscliff on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula and Perth in Western Australia.
The company delivers its onshore work in partnership with the University of Western Australia and Deakin University.
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