Entobel Sets Industry Record with the Opening of the Largest Insect Protein Production Plant in Asia
Vietnam – Entobel, a global leader in the production of functional insect protein for animal and plant nutrition, today celebrated the opening of its new black soldier fly (“BSF”) production plant, the largest of its kind in Asia.
“Today marks a major milestone in our journey to transform the insect protein landscape and supply sustainable feed ingredients to the rapidly growing aquaculture and pet food industries,” said Alexandre de Caters and Gaëtan Crielaard, co-founders and co-CEOs of Entobel.
Entobel’s state-of-the-art facility was constructed in an industry record time of 12 months and is currently the world’s most CAPEX-efficient BSF production facility.
The facility features 50 levels of vertical rearing, incorporating automation via robotics, cutting-edge sensors and data analytics that enhance productivity. Leveraging a US$33 million Series B funding round raised in 2022 and backed by Mekong Capital, Dragon Capital and The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Vung Tau facility marks Entobel’s second industrial-scale production facility in Vietnam and will have an annual production capacity of 10,000 MT of insect protein. The facility will serve as an economic and community anchor, creating 150 jobs in manufacturing and operations.
“The Entobel team has demonstrated capital allocation efficiency and execution excellence through the successful construction of two industrial-scale facilities in the last four years. Successful commissioning of the Vung Tau plant, one of the largest globally as measured by insect protein production capacity, has de-risked the operational and technological aspects of the business model, enabling the plant to serve as a blueprint for Entobel’s rapid regional expansion,” said Sandy Singh Sandhu, CFO of Entobel.
Entobel has proven that it is possible and profitable to meet the growing global demand for sustainable feed ingredients.
By 2050, consumption of protein is projected to increase by approximately 75% as the global population continues to rise. Aquaculture – as the fastest-growing animal protein sector globally due to its resource-efficient ways of producing animal protein – is expected to plug the protein gap. The aquaculture industry will have to become more sustainable to meet its full growth potential as it currently relies heavily on fishmeal, which causes over-fishing and a significant loss of biodiversity to the world’s oceans. According to the European Commission, traditional fishmeal has an average annual production of five million MT. The most promising solution to the over-reliance on fish meal is functional insect-based ingredients.
Entobel’s end products include insect protein and insect oil which are consumed primarily by the aquaculture and livestock industries.
Additionally, Entobel also produces insect frass, a sustainable base for fertilizer that reduces the need for chemical fertilizers that make up a large portion of agriculture field operational costs.
Entobel strategically selected Vietnam as its initial scale-up market for three core reasons: (1) Vietnam’s tropical climate, which is the ideal environment for BSF, reducing capital and operational expenditures; (2) the country’s position as one of the largest aquaculture hubs globally; and (3) access to a stable supply of high-quality feedstock. Entobel established a strategic collaboration with HEINEKEN Vietnam, among other feedstock suppliers, to create a circular ecosystem by upcycling by-products of HEINEKEN Vietnam’s production process into high-quality proteins, oils and organic fertilizer, while simultaneously creating a stable supply of high-quality and traceable feedstock for Entobel.
Entobel has a clear line-of-sight for regional expansion including continued expansion in Vietnam and is preparing to build new facilities in markets such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Entobel is targeting the launch of its Series C funding round in H1 2024 to support its growth plans