“Do not throw away prawn peel; we buy it for EGP 6 per kg,” is the slogan of Re-Shrimp. The company, founded by a group of young entrepreneurs, is extracting chitosan from shrimp peels and using it to produce anti-bacterial chemicals and other materials used in the fields of agricultural and medicine.
Ihab Osama, the company’s director, said the chitosan, which is found in the shrimp peel, can be used in 240 industries, including cosmetics, medicines, and pesticides.
He explained that the company buys shrimp peel from women in Fayoum governorate for EGP 6 per kilogram instead of throwing it away or using it as feed for chicken with no profits.
According to data prepared by Re-Shrimp, Egypt has 500,000 tonnes per year of prawn peel that can produce 100,000 tonnes per year of chitosan, used in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries.
On an area of 120 sqm in the third industrial zone in Sixth of October City, Re-Shrimp is collecting and extracting chitosan. The company has contracted with six companies, so far, to supply 25 tonnes of chitosan.
The company has so far supplied 150 kilograms of chitosan and realised EGP 65,000 of profits. The total expected revenues from supplying the entire quantity exceeds EGP 1m.
Moreover, the company aims to export chitosan and is seeking to expand its plant during the coming period. Yet, it needs funding of EGP 3.1m to prepare a larger lab and buy equipment and extraction tools. It is currently in negotiations with a businessperson, according to Osama.
The company started through Misr El Kheir’s GESR incubator, which granted the company EGP 100,000 to kick-start it and helped find an area for operation. The Agricultural Research Centre has cooperated in providing assistance and advice to the company.