CA: Cargill, Calysta to open fish food factory in Memphis
Fish farms from the Mississippi Delta to China could be the market for a new animal feed ingredient to be produced on Presidents Island in Memphis.
A commercial animal feed producer announced plans Tuesday to build a new factory and put 75 people to work at a Cargill facility that once produced corn sweeteners.
The joint venture of Cargill Inc., Calysta Inc. and others said it would be the world’s largest gas fermentation facility and could expand to 160 workers at full production.
The plant will make Calysta’s FeedKind protein, a proprietary feed ingredient developed as an alternative to fishmeal for the aquaculture industry.
The plant is expected to produce up to 20,000 metric tons a year of FeedKind when it comes online in late 2018.
Calysta is a Menlo Park, California-based company that makes sustainable products aimed at improving worldwide food security.
FeedKind is billed as a family of sustainable, traceable nutritional ingredients for fish, livestock and pets. Calysta opened a FeedKind research and development and market introduction facility in the United Kingdom in September.
Corporate and public officials hailed the venture as good news for the companies and the local and state economies. Officials did not disclose the planned investment in the facility or whether it qualifies for incentives from state or local governments.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland tweeted “Seventy five new jobs coming to Presidents Island!” Strickland proposed a revenue bond issue through the Economic Development Growth Engine of Memphis and Shelby County to help with a natural gas pipeline that’s crucial to the project. EDGE hasn’t finalized assistance plans for the project yet.
Cargill global vice president of bioindustrial Brian Silvey said, “Cargill has been a part of the Memphis community for 40 years. With the strong support of the state of Tennessee, Shelby County and city of Memphis, we are pleased that the venture chose to locate the facility in Memphis.”
Silvey added, “The venture’s building of a state-of-the-art fermentation facility on the existing Cargill Memphis site reaffirms our commitment to the community and state and our pledge to strategically invest in aquaculture as an ever increasingly important source of protein.”
Calysta president and chief executive officer Alan Shaw said, “With a proven and proprietary fermentation platform, Calysta is introducing a scalable and disruptive protein source critical to meeting the needs of a growing global population. Partnering with Cargill, a leader in fermentation and protein production, and others to invest in the establishment of the venture as the first U.S. manufacturing plant to commercially produce FeedKind protein, significantly accelerates FeedKind protein’s launch in the aquaculture industry at commercial scale. This venture is an important first step to deploying this technology globally.”
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, said, “I am pleased Cargill and Calysta have selected Memphis to house their new fermentation facility. I was happy to have helped bring this facility to Memphis. I am always willing to lend a hand to create more and better jobs in Memphis and the 9th District.”