Within the framework of an expansion strategy for the Latin American region, Alltech began construction this week on an algae production plant on the same premises as Alltech Sao Pedro, the largest yeast plant for animal nutrition in the world. This new $63 million investment in Brazil will generate more than 200 direct and indirect jobs, and it will increase Alltech’s Latin America production by 58 percent.

“The company’s experience with its first algae manufacturing plant in Kentucky has been a great success, and this is the reason for making the investment in Brazil,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech’s vice president for corporate affairs. “People are looking for something different, and algae are critical for conquering new markets. The future of nutrition lies in functional foods, and we are determined to meet the increasing global demand for DHA omega-3 on the farm and at the market.”

There are two types of algae: autotrophic and heterotrophic. The former requires sun for photosynthesis and for the production of energy; the latter uses oxygen in the environment for their development and production and do not need any light. Alltech produces heterotrophic algae, grown in closed stainless steel fermenters. This production practice allows for total control of the process, ensuring traceability, consistency and strict contamination control.

“Algae are incredibly powerful tools that accomplish positive changes by improving animal and human nutrition through eggs, meat, milk, and other DHA omega-3 enriched products,” said Becky Timmons, technical director at Alltech Algae in Winchester, Kentucky.

  Alltech also announced this week the expansion of its production capacity through the acquisition of a new 7,300-square-meter plant in Indaiatuba, São Paulo State, Brazil. In the new facility, the company will specially manufacture nutritional solutions for beef and dairy cattle, in response to the increasing regional demand and to support the production capacity of the nine plants Alltech has throughout Latin America, particularly Alltech’s plant in Araucaria, Brazil. At this facility, the company has recently doubled the production of one of its leading products, Optigen, Alltech’s non-protein nitrogen source for ruminants. 

With this new acquisition, the company is planning to close 2014 with a sales growth of around 27 percent in Latin America.