New fish meal and fish oil production line at Akranes
A new production line for handling by-products from groundfish production at HB Grandi’s Reykjavík factory is about to be commissioned at the company’s Akranes fishmeal plant. This is the plant’s third production line, with the other two used for processing pelagic landings. The new line uses steam produced by an electrically-fired boiler instead of an oil-fired system and HB Grandi has secured a 2.50MW supply for this production. This is equivalent to 15-20% of the entire factory’s power requirement if run at full power.
Almar Sigurjónsson, department manager in charge of HB Grandi’s fishmeal production, said that the new line will be able to handle approximately 55 tonnes of raw material per day.
‘It would certainly have been possible to process this amount with the production lines we already have in place at the factory, but the volume is fairly small and it is hardly worthwhile starting up such a large system for small amounts, in addition to which, we prefer to process raw material while it is fresh and using locally-produced power,’ he said.
The new production line has been installed over the last few weeks and among the equipment fitted are a cooker, a press, evaporation system and a decanter.
‘We plan to start production over the next few days. The volume of material from the Nordurgardur factory in Reykjavík is around 10,000 tonnes annually. The meal and oil produced form this are excellent for manufacturing feed as the freshness of the raw material is as good as it can be and the salt content is minimal. We expect to have two or three truck loads every day and expect that will be enough to ensure that we can maintain production five days a week with shifts to operate the plant 16-18 hours a day,’ Almar Sigurjónsson said, adding that the raw material is to be transported from Reykjavík in specially fitted out tanks made by Thorgeir & Ellert at Akranes.
First step towards electrifying the factory
According to Almar Sigurjónsson,the first steps towards electrifying the factory at Akranes have been taken alongside setting up the new fishmeal and oil plant.
‘We are assured of a 2.50MW power supply, which is routed to us from a sub-station in the cement factory, but the problem is that the power distribution network here in Akranes is only six kilovolts at the moment. The power will be used to power the new boiler, with the steam used for the cooker and dryer in the new production line. There is no question about the advantages of using electrical power. Switching certainly saves costs, as well as making it easier to manage production. It ensures a better and more uniform product,’ he said.
The factory as a whole is estimated to require 15 to 16MW if run at full capacity and he said that in two or three years when the power supplier has built a new sub-station, it should be possible to switch all of the factory’s process to electrical power. He commented that to link up with the sub-station in the cement works, a 700 meter trench had been dug from the fishmeal plant. The opportunity was taken at the same time to lay cables along part of that distance that will be used later in the process.
Over the last few years the fishmeal plant at Akranes has been run at full capacity during the capelin roe season, but has been quiet at other times. In spite of this, it has a staff of ten who use much of their time between seasons for repairs and maintenance.