Liberation Labs Announces Site for First Purpose-Built Commercial Precision Fermentation Plant
RNS Number : 7302N Agronomics Limited
25th January 2023
(“Agronomics” or the “Company”)
Liberation Labs Announces Site for First Purpose-Built Commercial Precision Fermentation Plant
Agronomics (ANIC:LSE), the leading listed company focused on the field of cellular agriculture, is pleased to announce that investee company, Liberation Labs Holdings Inc (“Liberation Labs”), the large-scale precision fermentation contract manufacturer, has acquired the land for its launch facility, which we believe will be the first dedicated, purpose-built, commercial, precision fermentation plant globally for food production.
Liberation Labs was formed to address the acute shortage in precision fermentation capacity for the production of proteins for use in food, including dairy, egg and other proteins. Many of the facilities currently in use are over 40 years old and do not have the modern downstream equipment to drive the quality, yield, and production efficiency needed to compete in a global marketplace. In the report Food for Thought published by Boston Consulting Group, it is estimated that current global fermentation capacity is 61 million litres, however the capacity required to meet the projected demand of 15 megatonnes of fermentation-produced animal protein by 2030 is 10 billion litres, over a 100-fold increase. The new facility will have a fermentation capacity of 600k litres and the site will have land available to expand to 4 million litres thereafter. Commercial production is expected to come online at the end of 2024.
The Company has invested a total of US$ 7.63 million since Liberation Lab’s inception, which is carried at US$ 18.9 million, and this accounts for approximately 11.3% of the last published Net Asset Value of Agronomics (30.09.22). Agronomics has an equity ownership of 37.4% on a fully diluted basis in Liberation Labs.
Jim Mellon, executive director of Agronomics commented:-
“Liberation Labs is Agronomics’ key exposure to the infrastructure required to support the global shift towards more secure and sustainable methods of protein production via fermentation, representing a major opportunity for capital deployment in the coming decade. Not only is Liberation Labs building a first-of-a-kind facility, it is also creating an asset class for institutional investors to be able to participate in the food revolution, without having to underwrite significant technology and regulatory risk, yet with highly predictable cashflows.”
The full announcement is set out below without any material changes.
Liberation Labs Selects Indiana for First Biomanufacturing Facility
The new facility will be the first purpose-built commercial precision fermentation plant in the United States.
RICHMOND, Ind. (January 24, 2023) Liberation Labs, a large-scale precision fermentation manufacturer, has executed a purchase agreement for the site of its first commercial-scale biomanufacturing facility. The new facility, which will have a fermentation capacity of 600,000 litres with a fully dedicated downstream process (DSP), will be located in the Midwest Industrial Park in Richmond, Indiana. Commercial production is expected by the end of 2024.
Liberation Labs is focused on increasing the availability of alternative proteins that will meet the growing demand from both existing major food brands as well as the emerging crop of foodtech companies. The new facility will be the first purpose-built commercial-scale precision fermentation plant in the United States. The company has completed Front End Loading level 3 engineering (FEL-3), and has begun placing orders for long-lead equipment and building out the operations team. Groundbreaking is expected later this spring.
“The three things a biomanufacturing facility like ours needs are sugar, power and people – and Richmond, Indianahas them all,” said Mark Warner, co-founder and CEO of Liberation Labs. “While sugar and power are commodities, a workforce experienced in manufacturing is not, which is why Richmond really stands out. We are thankful for the support the state and local community has provided us and we can’t wait to break ground.”
The new facility will be located on a 36-acre parcel within Phase I of Richmond, Indiana’s 700-acre Midwest Industrial Park, which is owned and maintained by the City of Richmond in partnership with the Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County. Liberation Labs will be the 10th tenant to locate in this well-established industrial park.
This site offers tremendous logistical opportunities for the company, including:
● Shovel ready site with necessary utility capacity;
● Proximity to Interstate 70, the Norfolk Southern mainline and three regional airports for shipping and logistics;
● Proximity to cost-advantaged carbon feedstocks;
● Significant percentage of baseload power to facility is clean, solar energy;
● Proximity to 3 large metropolitan areas, providing adequate qualified labour.
Liberation Labs will benefit from several key incentives offered by Wayne County and the State of Indiana, including tax credits, grants, utility offsets, workforce-related incentives and discounts on the land purchase. The company expects to invest $115 million in the facility and plans to create an estimated 45 well-paying manufacturing jobs.
“Next generation technology is critical to future food security for people everywhere, and I am proud that Indiana is leading the charge,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers. “We are excited to welcome Liberation Labs to our growing agbiosciences ecosystem. Liberation Labs will continue to enable companies to innovate while creating high-paying, quality career opportunities for Hoosiers.”
Not only will Liberation Labs increase the overall supply of bio-based consumer products, it also will make them at a lower cost because they will be manufactured and distributed in the United States. Today, most biomanufacturing capacity is in Europe but production and shipping fees make sourcing from there cost-prohibitive.
“Securing this partnership and investment from Liberation Labs is another milestone in our strong relationship with Governor Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation,” said Richmond Mayor Dave Snow. “We are thrilled to add the expertise of Liberation Labs to our Industrial Park. Make no mistake, when a company of this calibre chooses to invest in Richmond, it’s a resounding vote of confidence that we are moving in the right direction. With more jobs being created, and such a strong business model, I am confident this is just the beginning of a long and mutually prosperous relationship.”
About Liberation Labs
Liberation Labs is commercialising precision fermentation with a global network of purpose-built, international manufacturing facilities that enable the next wave of biotechnology advancements to produce bio-based consumer products at scale. We combine modern technology with fit-for-purpose design to bring reliable and cost-effective solutions that meet customer demand across the world. More information is available at www.liberationlabs.com.
John Williams, Scoville PR for Liberation Labs
Agronomics is a leading listed alternative proteins company with a focus on cellular agriculture and cultivated meat. The Company has established a portfolio of over 20 companies in this rapidly advancing sector. It seeks to secure minority stakes in companies owning technologies with defensible intellectual property that offer new ways of producing food and materials with a focus on products historically derived from animals. These technologies are driving a major disruption in agriculture, offering solutions to improve sustainability, as well as addressing human health, animal welfare and environmental damage. This disruption will decouple supply chains from the environment and animals and be fundamental to feeding the world’s expanding population. A full list of Agronomics’ portfolio companies is available at https://agronomics.im/.
About Cellular Agriculture
Cellular Agriculture is the production of agriculture products directly from cells, as opposed to raising an animal for slaughter or growing crops. This encompasses cell culture to produce cultivated meat and materials, and fermentation processes that harness a combination of molecular biology, synthetic biology, tissue engineering and biotechnology to massively simplify production methods in a sustainable manner.
Over the coming decades, the source of the world’s food supply traditionally derived from conventional agriculture is going to change dramatically. We have already witnessed the first wave of this shift with the consumer adoption of plant-based alternative proteins but today, we are on the cusp of an even bigger wave of change. This is being facilitated by advances in cellular agriculture. This change is necessary, given scientists’ claims that if we maintain existing animal protein consumption patterns, then we will not meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting warming to 1.5℃.
AT Kearney, a global consultancy firm, projects that cultivated meat’s market share will reach 35% by 2040. This combined with the Good Food Institute’s estimate that a US $1.8 trillion investment will be required in order to produce just 10% of the world’s protein using this technology, means that we are on the cusp of a multi-decade flow of capital to build out manufacturing facilities. Funding in the field of cellular agriculture is accelerating, however, still less than US$ 5 billion has been invested worldwide since the industry’s inception in 2016.
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