Sea6 Energy Launches World’s First Large-Scale Mechanised Tropical Seaweed Farm in Indonesia

Sea6 Energy, a technology pioneer in the Blue Economy, has launched the world’s first large-scale mechanized tropical seaweed farm off Ekas, on the island of Lombok, Indonesia.

The one-square-kilometre seaweed farm marks a significant milestone in establishing the scalability of sustainable tropical seaweed cultivation for the production of large industrial applications such as biofertilizers, bioplastics, and the continued research and development of renewable chemicals and fuels.

The challenges in harvesting tropical seaweed at-scale have been seen as a significant barrier to growth in the industry, and the key reason for limited research on the seaweed feedstock’s applicability in large industrial applications.

By automating various workflows of seaweed cultivation, from seeding to harvesting, and developing proprietary processing know-how that dramatically enhances the feedstock’s shelf life, Sea6’s vertically integrated state-of-the-art technology platform increases smallholder farmer productivity and firmly positions the oceans as the next frontier for scalable agriculture biomass for a sustainable planet.

Seaweed is gaining in popularity because of its potential to be used as an input feedstock to make many products that would otherwise be made today from fossil fuels or land-based biomass, which is increasingly in conflict with the human food supply chain.

Sea6’s one-square-kilometre seaweed farm minimises environmental impact, and ensures the highest standards of product quality, safety, and traceability while creating employment opportunities for coastal communities.

“We are honored to inaugurate the world’s first mechanized tropical sea farm, a testament to our unwavering commitment to innovation and sustainability in the Ocean Economy,” said Nelson Vadassery, co-founder and CEO of Sea6 Energy. “This groundbreaking initiative not only showcases the immense potential of sustainable seaweed cultivation but also underscores our collective responsibility to develop sustainable products for future generations.”

Due to Sea6’s potential for scale, the company has attracted nearly US$$30 million of international investment over the past ten years, including Netherlands-based sustainable aquaculture fund Aqua-Spark, India’s Tata Capital, BASF Venture Capital, Twin Towers Ventures, and Singapore-based family offices, Silverstrand Capital and Potato Impact Partners.

In 2023, Temasek Foundation provided a grant to support the pilot of the automation and mechanization of the tropical seaweed farm in Ekas. Shrikumar Suryanarayan, Chairman of Sea6 Energy, said, “The support of the Government of Indonesia along with the commitment of our investors and supporters has been instrumental in bringing this landmark project to fruition.”