Latest News - Corporate Happenings

Finland’s Enifer Secures Funding for Mycoprotein Facility Construction

May 2024

Latest News - Corporate Happenings

Finland’s Enifer Secures Funding for Mycoprotein Facility Construction

May 2024

Finland's Enifer has successfully secured sufficient funding to commence the construction of a groundbreaking mycoprotein facility. This facility aims to upcycle food industry sidestreams into fungi-based protein ingredients. The plant is projected to produce up to 3,000 tons of Enifer’s proprietary mycoprotein, PEKILO®, annually, which is estimated to meet the yearly protein requirements of approximately 40,000 individuals.

According to Enifer, this facility will be the first worldwide to produce this type of mycoprotein from sidestreams. The construction cost of the facility is estimated at €33 million, with completion targeted by the end of 2025 and operational ramp-up scheduled for 2026.

“We’re extremely excited to announce the kick-off of our first factory investment project,” stated Simo Ellilä, CEO and co-founder of Enifer.

The recent funding includes a €15 million Series B round led by the private equity fund Taaleri Bioindustry Fund I, alongside follow-on investments from existing shareholders Nordic Foodtech VC, Voima Ventures, Valio, and Laine Holding. Furthermore, the Finnish Climate Fund has provided a €7 million capital loan, and the Finnish state-owned financing company Finnvera has contributed a €2 million Climate and Environmental Loan.

In addition to a previously reported €12 million grant, Enifer has now accumulated a total of €36 million, rendering the facility fully funded. The plant will be situated within an existing industrial building in the village of Kantvik, a 30-minute drive from Helsinki city center and Enifer’s R&D facilities.

PEKILO mycoprotein is cultivated through a fermentation process somewhat akin to beer brewing. The new facility will feature an industrial-scale fermenter, more than 12 meters tall and over 4.5 meters in diameter. Enifer plans to file for Novel Foods approval for PEKILO this year and anticipates receiving it by 2026. The ingredient is reported to have a neutral color and taste, making it suitable for various applications including meat and dairy alternatives, baking, pastries, and snacks.

Research conducted by scientists at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland suggests that mycoprotein is nutritionally valuable, boasting high digestible protein and dietary fiber content. PEKILO was utilized as one of the microbial biomasses in the study.

“At Enifer, we’re extremely excited to announce the kick-off of our first factory investment project,” said Ellilä. “For over half a century, Kantvik has been at the heart of Finnish bioindustries, and I could not think of a better location to bring PEKILO fermentation back to life. I would like to thank our new investors, in particular Taaleri Bioindustry and the Finnish Climate Fund, for joining us in our mission. Mycoprotein is the missing ingredient for a more sustainable food chain – the facility in Kantvik serves as a key stepping stone on our path to making mycoprotein a cornerstone of protein supply, with several future factories already being planned.”

vegconomist.com

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