BioTech Foods, a subsidiary of JBS S.A., has begun construction on what is expected to be the world’s largest lab-grown meat plant when completed by mid-2024, according to reports. Plans for the facility in San Sebastian, Spain, were formalized more than a year ago, when Brazilian meat processor JBS completed the purchase of a 51% stake in BioTech, Spain’s largest cultivated-meat company. That $100 million transaction, and first mention of the prospect of building the new facility, was first reported in November 2021.
The plant will be BioTech’s first commercial-scale plant, expected to produce more than 2.2 million pounds of cultivated beef annually (1,000 metric tons). Furthermore, the company reported that capacity at the plant could be quadrupled in the medium term after the plant is built, to maintain a leadership position in the category as needed.
“The new BioTech plant puts JBS in a unique position to lead the segment and ride this wave of innovation,” Eduardo Noronha, JBS USA’s head of value-added business, told Reuters.
According to JBS, BioTech’s production capacity will grow gradually as demand grows in key markets such as Australia, Brazil, Europe, Japan, Singapore and the U.S.