Cellana, Inc. is a San Diego- and Hawaii-based developer of algae-based bioproducts for biofuels, aquaculture and animal feeds, and Omega-3 nutraceutical/pharmaceutical applications. Cellana has received (or has been a member of consortia that have received) multiple multimillion-dollar grants from the United States Department of Energy and United States Department of Agriculture. On June 6, 2013, Cellana and Neste Oil, the world's largest refiner of renewable diesel, announced the signing of a multi-year, commercial-scale off-take agreement for algae-based biocrude oil.
Cellana, Inc. was founded in 2004 as HR BioPetroleum, Inc. and changed its name to Cellana, Inc. in May 2011. On January 31, 2011, Cellana LLC, a joint venture company formed by Royal Dutch Shell and HR BioPetroleum in 2007, became a wholly owned subsidiary of HR BioPetroleum, Inc./Cellana, Inc. Shell had previously announced on December 11, 2007 that it entered into a joint venture with HR BioPetroleum to, among other things, build and operate a demonstration facility in Hawaii for growing algae as a source of biofuels. This 2.5-hectare facility, known as the Kona Demonstration Facility (KDF) was completed and commissioned in 2009.
The original goal of the facility was to cultivate algae in photobioreactors and open raceway ponds filled with seawater using a proprietary process, then harvest the algae and extract oil for conversion into fuels such as biodiesel as well as other co-products.
KDF is located on a parcel of land leased from the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA), which is located on the west shore of the island of Hawaii. NELHA pipes in a constant supply of fresh ocean water. NELHA was originally built to support a DOE project for ocean thermal energy conversion, and it continues to employ the project's seawater supply pipes to support a variety of research projects and commercial enterprises, including facilities that currently grow and harvest microalgae for pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements.
Cellana's facility grows only non-genetically modified, marine microalgae species using proprietary technology.