"“We’re focused on the co-production of a very high-value product and a relatively low, high-protein by-product,” Barnett explains.
The EPA omega-3 product currently sells for a wholesale price of $US200 per kilo, he says.
“Within the next 18 months to two years, we will be producing 20,000 kilos per hectare, per year.”
The by-product of that will be up to 50,000 kilos per year of high-protein biomass, which can be sold on to manufacturers making alternative meat products.
“Over the next few years as we scale up to a 100 hectare-plus farm, you can see the revenues are substantial,” Barnett says.
Already, Qponics is in discussions with “major food companies” he says, and fielding enquiries about the omega-3 product both as a supplement and for developing alternative meat products such as tuna-free tuna.
If you want to replicate the nutritional value of the product, as well as the taste, “you need to have a source of vegetarian omega 3”, he says.
There’s also increasing demand for the protein by-product, and for the meat alternative products it could be utilised for.
Algae for protein can be anywhere between 20 and 80 times more efficient than growing chickpeas or soybeans, he says. "