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Engineering deal ushers in insect meal factory builds in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the US

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By Jane Byrne

Last updated on 13-Feb-2017 at 12:56 GMT2017-02-13T12:56:49Z

© AgriProtein
© AgriProtein

South Africa’s AgriProtein is collaborating with engineering group, Christof Industries, to build up to 25 cost-efficient, high-volume fly farms a year in global locations.

The two companies plan to roll out 100 factories by 2024 and a further 100 by 2027. 

AgriProtein: The global factory roll out will result in up-cycling of waste in the various markets where plants are located and will bring insect meal into the mainstream of feeds used in aquaculture, poultry farming and pet food. 

The deal sees Christof Industries delivering factories on a turnkey basis as AgriProtein’s Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) partner, while local licensees of AgriProtein’s technology in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, will operate the Black Soldier Fly larvae based farms. 

Design model 

“We will start three plants simultaneously in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the US. Planning work has already started - construction will commence once environmental impact assessment (EIA) approvals are granted, which we hope to have in early 2018,” Jason Drew, AgriProtein CEO, told FeedNavigator. 

Black Soldier Fly larvae © AgriProtein

Each factory will cost between $15 and $23m depending on the levels of automation and end user options, he said.

“The standard factory design model can be up scaled in units of 125 tons to handle the existing local waste available. The next size up would therefore be 375 and then 500 tons per day,” added Drew. 

The contract with Christof Industries follow the engineering group’s upgrade of AgriProtein’s industrial plant in Cape Town: “Christof Industries’ team has been working with us since last year, further automating and expanding our existing site and developing an EPC model that they can roll out. It is a global leader in waste processing and waste-to-energy.”

In December last year, a EU Commission committee voted to open the aquaculture feed market for insect derived protein from July 2017 - a long awaited development by insect producers in Europe and beyond.

AgriProtein plant in Cape Town © AgriProtein

AgriProtein, founded in 2008, said it is now able to up-cycle up to 91,000 tons of organic waste a year to produce up to 7,000 tons of insect meal and oil at its Cape Town site, due to that automation and expansion work.

Drew said insect meal is already competitive as a protein replacement for fishmeal and available at a similar price point. “The challenge is availability. Hence the partnership with Christof Industries to roll out further factories and increase supply.”

AgriProtein has allocated several international licences to use its technology, most recently in Australasia to its partner Twynam Group - 20 licences. In November 2016, the company raised US$17.5m for further expansion.

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