Enifer‘s groundbreaking project received a green light as Business Finland granted over €12 million ($13.1 million USD) in a recycling and reuse investment award on January 10. This financial boost, secured through the European Union’s NextGenerationEU initiative, is earmarked for the construction of Enifer’s inaugural large-scale facility.
The forthcoming facility is poised to revolutionize the landscape of protein ingredient production by championing the recycling and reuse of industrial byproducts. Enifer’s focus is on crafting PEKILO® mycoprotein ingredients through innovative methods involving industrial byproducts and fungal fermentation. The resulting product, a neutral-tasting and colored food-grade powder rich in protein and fiber, is positioned as a versatile substitute for plant-based proteins in the food industry.
A recent study validating the nutritional value of PEKILO in farmed salmon has sparked excitement, indicating its potential application in aquaculture and the pet food sector.
To meet the increasing demand for PEKILO, Enifer is embarking on the establishment of its first commercial-scale facility. This facility is projected to churn out 3 million kg (approximately 3,307 tonnes) of sustainable, locally sourced proteins annually. Significantly, this capacity is expected to offset the need for meat derived from around 30,000 cows, promising a drastic reduction in carbon footprint and resource usage.
With an estimated construction cost of about €30 million ($32.8 million USD), the facility is slated for completion by the end of 2025, with production slated to commence in 2026. Collaborating with engineering firm AFRY, Enifer is currently in the foundational engineering phase of the construction process.
“A key objective for the original developers of PEKILO® was to take this amazing source of protein to food applications,” explained Enifer’s co-founder and CEO Simo Ellilä. “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. 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.”