Cyanotech Corp. announced Wednesday that it has received anequity investment of $600,000 to begin construction of aneight-acre natural beta-carotene production facility. Thefacility will consist of eight 500,000-liter ponds to culture themicroalgae Dunaliella salina , which the company uses as asource of natural beta-carotene.

Cyanotech (NASDAQ:CYAN) of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, still needsan additional $1.2 million to finish the construction.

The company received the $600,000 by selling 600,000restricted shares of its common stock (NASDAQ:CYAN) to aprivate individual investor. The same investor purchased 1.2million shares of the company's common stock in May andJune, and now holds 22 percent of Cyanotech's outstandingshares. The stock closed unchanged on Wedesday at $1.31 ashare.

Cyanotech has developed a technology for producing beta-carotene, a concentrated source of pro-vitamin A, from themicroalgae. It produced close to 10,000 kilograms of theproduct between 1987 and 1989 in a pilot project, explainedRonald Scott, the company's vice president of finance.Cyanotech had sold most of that supply in bulk to the naturalfoods market -- under the trade name Konatene -- by 1991,and is not currently selling its beta-carotene.

Once the beta-carotene facility is up and running, however,Cyanotech estimates that it can produce more than 35,000 kilosof the product annually. The company intends to sell Konatenein the future through its wholly owned subsidiary, Nutrex Inc.,and will also offer the product in bulk, Scott told BioWorld.

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