Fight against climate change: SUEZ Group and FERMENTALG have created “CarbonWorks”, a company specializing in the capture and recovery of CO2 thanks to micro-algae

In line with the announcement made last January, SUEZ and FERMENTALG have created a joint venture to accelerate the development and sale of solutions for the capture and bioconversion of CO2 (Carbon Capture and Utilization or CCU) by micro-algae photosynthesis. Named “CarbonWorks,” this joint venture, owned equally by the two Groups, is developing a new industrial photobioreactor standard. In the long-term, the joint venture will be capable of capturing several thousand tons of CO2 at the source of emission, and of producing equivalent quantities of algae biomass intended in priority for the agricultural biocontrol as well as human and animal food markets.

CarbonWorks is a major player in ecological transition, notably due to its intensive micro-algae photosynthesis systems. It aims to offer industries the ability to recover their CO2 emission in bioproducts. The joint venture will develop in small loops, within the circular economy ideal, biocontrol products, biopesticides and bioproteins, reducing the environmental footprint of certain agricultural products. 

CarbonWorks benefits from the expertise and heritage resulting from the partnership initiated between SUEZ and FERMENTALG in 2015. It will have access to FERMENTALG's biological library (more than 2,300 micro-algae strains), privileged access to specific CO2 sources from SUEZ sites and/or customers, a portfolio of 6 patent families and a team of experts from the two Groups.

An industrial demonstrator from 2021

CarbonWorks will roll out its first industrial demonstrator at the Pot-Au-Pin Énergie site in Cestas (Gironde), in the third quarter of 2021. This demonstrator of about ten m3 will be used to capture the CO2 emitted by its agricultural methanation unit and its conversion into biocontrol products (natural fungicide for vines). This project supported by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region has also been identified by Bpifrance in the framework of the Future Investments Program (PIA) and received the structural competitiveness project (PSPC) label.

A team led by specialists in environmental solutions and a programmed entry of new investors

CarbonWorks is based on FERMENTALG’s site in Libourne (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France). It is managed by Guillaume Charpy who is an ENSTA Paris Tech engineer, a graduate of Harvard Business School and a former auditor of the CHEE ENA (Postgraduate Course in European Studies). He has 30 years’ experience in the field of environmental activities. The CarbonWorks Board of Directors is chaired by Philippe Lavielle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FERMENTALG and is composed of members from SUEZ and FERMENTALG.

At its creation, the company has assets of more than €5m with a cash flow of €1m and plans to get new shareholders within the framework of Series A financing. Discussions have been initiated and major investment funds specializing in ecological transition have already expressed their interest. CarbonWorks also plans to accelerate its development through different national and European innovation support programs.


Philippe Lavielle, FERMENTALG CEO: “In creating CarbonWorks, we chose an independent structure that could combine the agility of a start-up with the substantial legacy of all the work undertaken these past 5 years as part of the FERMENTALG-SUEZ partnership. Our ambition is to put the full power of micro-algae at the service of industrial decarbonation by offering disruptive technological solutions adaptable to various industrial configurations.”


Press: Isabelle Herrier Naufle
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Analysts & Investors: Cécile Combeau - Baptiste Fournier - Julien Minot
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