ESPOO, FINLAND — On Jan. 10, Enifer announced that Business Finland approved a recycling and reuse investment grant of over €12 million ($13.1 million USD) for Enifer to build its first commercial-scale facility. The funding will help Enifer build the first-of-its-kind facility that promotes the reuse and recycling of industrial byproducts to create protein ingredients, according to the company.

The grant funding comes from the European Union NextGenerationEU platform, which aims to support the EU’s circular economy.

Enifer’s facility will produce its PEKILO® mycoprotein ingredients, which are developed using industrial byproducts and fungal fermentation. PEKILO is a food grade, protein- and fiber-rich powder offering a neutral taste and color that can be used similarly to plant-based proteins in the food industry. A recent study validated the nutritional use of PEKILO for use in farmed salmon, showing strong promise for the use of the ingredient in aquaculture and pet food markets.

To ramp up its production of PEKILO, Enifer is embarking on its first commercial-scale facility. The facility will have an annual production capacity of 3 million kg (about 3,307 tonnes) of sustainable, locally sourced proteins. According to Enifer, this significant capacity will replace meat sourced from roughly 30,000 cows and boast a much lower carbon footprint and use much less water and land.

The facility is estimated to cost about €30 million ($32.8 million USD) to construct and is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2025 with production starting in 2026. Enifer has partnered with engineering company AFRY and is currently in the basic engineering phase of construction.

“A key objective for the original developers of PEKILO® was to take this amazing source of protein to food applications,” said Simo Ellilä, co-founder and chief executive officer of Enifer. “It is an absolute privilege for Enifer to be able to finally complete that mission, more than 50 years on.

“This plant will be a critical stepping stone to scaling the production of PEKILO as a truly universal protein source — which we aim to commercialize globally across different applications,” he added. “Thanks to the unique history of PEKILO, we are able to take this giant leap from our existing pilot directly to a commercial-scale facility. We are extremely grateful for the financial support approved by Business Finland and the European Union NextGenerationEU program, which will enable us to take this huge step in the coming year.”

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