WA-Indonesia partnership transforming seaweed into sustainable plastic

  • Indonesia Connect Roadshow delegates met with WA company ULUU, and Indonesian company Mina Agar Makmur Cooperative, to learn about their trade partnership
  • Mina Agar Makmur Cooperative produces dried seaweed and seaweed jelly products
  • ULUU uses seaweed to produce ocean-derived biomaterials (plastic)

A delegation from the Indonesia Connect Roadshow – led by Agriculture and Food Minister Jackie Jarvis, has visited the headquarters of the Mina Agar Makmur Cooperative.

Based in East Java, the Cooperative is developing a site with seaweed processing equipment -purchased by Western Australian biotech startup ULUU.

The Cooperative has 1,200 hectares of Gracilaria seaweed under cultivation by 150 farmers, with a production target of 1,000 tonnes for next year.

ULUU and the Cooperative signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this year for seaweed supply, with the first shipment of seaweed between the companies made in August.

Ten tonnes of seaweed can produce one tonne of ULUU plastic, by using saltwater microbes that digest carbohydrates in the seaweed, during the fermentation process.

The plastic pellets produced can be used to create items such as furniture, packaging, car parts, and clothing.

On Wednesday evening, ULULL signed a Joint Venture Agreement with an Indonesian proponent at a cultural event hosted by Invest and Trade WA.

As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Jackie Jarvis:

“The Indonesia Connect Roadshow – coordinated by Invest and Trade WA, continues to make great connections, and the delegates who attended the Cooperative with me today, have gained some valuable knowledge when it comes to building a new trade partnership.

“Seaweed is a new commodity for East Java, and aligns with diversification of the region’s economy, along with supporting farmers.

“This arrangement is also a great example of sustainable, advanced manufacturing, which is a focus of the Cook Government’s Future State: Accelerating Diversify WA strategy.”

/Public Release. View in full here.