UniVerve’s multi-faceted business-strategy includes the establishment of global farms, singly or in joint ventures, and technology licensing. The farms may be microalgae farms designated for the production of feedstock for oil and biomass or the production of biomass alone. UniVerve’s business strategy incorporates its acute understanding of the economics of microalgae-oil production, whereby the biomass designated for fuel, a low end commodity, is leveraged by the commercialization of the remaining biomass for use in higher end commodities, such as food supplements (e.g. omega-3) and feed. Moreover, UniVerve’s "Glocal" approach to the establishment of microalgae farms mandates that all predefined facets of production (i.e. the strains to be used, the intended use of the biomass be it for fuel and/or derivative products) be tailored to local requirements and conditions such as climate and water quality.
UniVerve's flexible business model accommodates clients’ preferences. UniVerve will team up with local engineering companies as its EPC partners (Engineering, Procurement & Construction). In cases of Turn-Key Projects, BT or BOT, UniVerve will charge a License Fee, royalties from the farms' sales and consulting fee. This model will be adjusted when clients request a JV. The company expects royalties from farms’ sales to be its primary revenue stream.
UniVerve has begun its business development in the global markets. UniVerve has identified Asia as a prime market and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with United Engineers Limited (“UEL”; www.uel.sg
), a leading Singaporean engineering company to be its EPC partner for Asia (Engineering, Procurement, Construction & Maintenance). Together with UEL, UniVerve is negotiating the establishment of farms in China.
UniVerve's first farm
A Letter of Intent to purchase the entire biomass output has been provided to UniVerve by an Israeli company that produces and exports microalgae biomass for the Omega-3 and feed markets. The company approached additional potential off-takers from USD, Europe and Asia, who expect to get samples for testing as a basis for a commercial relationship. In addition, the farm will serve as a global demonstration and training center for farm establishment teams of overseas clients.
UniVerve recruited and trained the core team of the farm, constructed a small production unit of 100m3
, finalized the engineering set-up and began with biological set-up. Management expects that samples to potential off-takers will be sent by Q1/2015. Once the required biomass quality level is confirmed by the clients, LOIs will be converted into a binding long-term off-take agreements. The commercial scale-up, which follows the initial preparatory period, will progress gradually over a 4 year term.
As part of its strategy, UniVerve has initiated the establishment of a microalgae biomass farm in northern Israel for production of EPA-rich feedstock for Omega-3 food supplements. UniVerve’s first farm in Israel will also serve as a training center for farm establishment teams of over-seas clients. The first stage of this farm is planned to be operative by the end of 2014.
Given the embryonic state of Israeli biofuel regulatory and infrastructure support systems, the first Israeli farm that UniVerve began constructing is a Biomass Farm, aimed at producing EPA-rich biomass. The establishment of Oil & Biomass farms will begin when the time is right. However, in the global markets UniVerve promotes both Oil & Biomass Farms as well as Biomass Farms.