Jupiter backs firm with $200,000 for algae production

[USA] A $200,000 loan guarantee for a firm that produces algae was approved unanimously by the town council Thursday.

Avespa Holdings, LLC is moving into an office in the Jupiter Park of Commerce, south of Indiantown Road and just east of I-95. The algae is used for food for salmon and making omega-3 for human consumption, said Chief Science Officer Philippe Bois.

Bois did not have a date when the company would open.

“We are in the research and development stage right now,” Bois said.

If Avespa does not pay its bank loan, Jupiter must repay the money.

The company is working to develop a way in which they use non-treated water to produce an algae-based product for sale. The non-treated water would promote algae growth. The water would come from the Loxahatchee River District and the town’s water utility. It would be returned as clean water to both agencies when the process in complete, according to the proposal.

Non-treated water has the nutrients needed to grow the algae. Regular tap water cannot be used because it does not have the nutrients, said Albrey Arrington, executive director of the Loxahatchee River District, which produces 8 million gallons a day of recycled water that is used for irrigation.

“Using recycled water in the process is like giving the algae Miracle-Gro,” Arrington said.

The loan guarantee is from the town’s biotech fund, which was established in 2006 to attract science businesses to Jupiter. There is about $1 million in the fund, according to Jupiter records.

Avespa will “enhance wastewater treatment processes that may provide long term cost savings and environmental benefits for the community for years to come,” according to the proposal.


Photo: Avespa to move into this building in Jupiter Commerce Park. (Photo by Bill DiPaolo)

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