Governor Malcolm McCusker fit in a visit to Aurora Algae’s demonstration facility in Karratha on Wednesday during his busy Pilbara schedule.
The California-based algae producer has announced a 400 per cent increase in their Karratha plant, creating more than 200 jobs in the area.
Managing director Matt Caspari said after getting very good technical results from the demonstration facility, the next step was to approach the investors about going larger.
“We’re building out a project that will be 400 hectares of alga growth ponds in two phases,” he said.
“The first phase will be 100 hectares and the second will be up to 400 hectares. A lot of what has driven it is the results we’ve had.”
Mr Caspari said the Governor’s visit highlighted what has been positive government support for the algae project.
“I think people are truly interested in diversifying the industry base up here,” he said.
“Looking at decades out, we’re looking at what can be up here beyond resources and algae fits perfectly.”
Mr McCusker said after touring the plant and learning more about the qualities of algae he was very impressed with the project.
“I think it’s a very good facility in itself and I think it’s also very heartening to see that we’ve got other industries developing here (in the Pilbara) apart from simply mining industries.
“I am impressed by the amount of technology that has gone into this, the expertise from at least three different areas,” he said.
“The Government does support lots of new industries being opened up here by providing them with land availability, expediting approval processes, all that kind of thing are things that government can do.”