Spanish insect ingredient player scaling up, second plant set to go live

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

New Bioflytech facility in Palas de Rei, in the region of Galicia, Spain.
New Bioflytech facility in Palas de Rei, in the region of Galicia, Spain.

Related tags Bioflytech BSF black soldier fly Aquaculture Protein Spain

Spain based BSF producer, Bioflytech, says it is continuing to take steps to consolidate its position as a leading player in the production of insect-derived products.

It is now looking to double its output of Black Soldier Fly (BSF) derived ingredients through the building of a second plant in the northwest of Spain. The new facility is expected to go live in the coming weeks.

Bioflytech was founded in 2012 as a biotech company linked to the University of Alicante. Six years later, Moira Capital acquired a majority stake in it, and at the end of 2019, the producer moved its operations to Fuente Álamo, in the Murcia region.

dried larva bioflytech
The Spanish company’s dried larvae product is designed to supplement the diet of laying hens and broilers; its protein meals are also targeted at the poultry sector in addition to pet food, and aquaculture production. Its fats, which are obtained from larvae without using chemical agents or solvents, can be used in feed as well as in the pharma and cosmetics industries. The biotech also produces a fertilizer product, which is obtained via the biodigestion of the plant material produced during the fattening process.

Work on its new plant in Palas de Rei, in the region of Galicia, is progressing well, said the biotech. The company has invested €22m (US$23.15m) in the build. The upcoming facility will operate through its subsidiary, Alternatives Fats and Proteins of Galicia.

Production capacity 

“The rendering and drying plants are being set up, and in the coming weeks the first of the six fattening halls will start operating, each of which will produce 2,000 tons of fresh BSF larvae per year, with the facility expected to reach the maximum production capacity of the first phase of 12,000 tons per year in Q1 2024.”

The 12,000 tons of fresh larvae output will result in production of 4,000 tons of meal and around 1,200 tons of fat per year.

Additional spend is planned in the coming years so the Palas de Rei facility can meet the objective of producing 100,000 tons of BSF larvae per year. "It has not yet been decided whether this expansion will be undertaken in a single or in several successive phases," said Jesús Rodríguez, Bioflytech's CEO.

The new facility is equipped with a gas rendering installation, which has been designed in-house. Bioflytech said this “disruptive technology” will ensure it can manufacture meals with specific percentages of protein and fats. The Palas de Rei plant will also have a second conventional rendering line, which is currently undergoing testing and is set to go live in November. 

"The gas extraction equipment consists of using gas to extract the liquid part (fats and water) from the larva. It is unique because, as [no heating is applied], the digestibility of the meal increases; the protein is not denatured by the effect of heat. This equipment, which we have developed at Bioflytech, will also allow us make flour without fat or water, or vary the percentage of protein according to customers' requirements," Rodríguez told us.

Bioflytech's first facility in Fuente Álamo has output of 4,000 tons of fresh larvae per year, which translates into about 1,300 tons of meal and around 400 tons of fat output annually.

The site includes a large BSF hatchery, with production of 180kg of eggs per month. However, further expansion is also planned at this location with the company flagging that it is intending to plough €2.8m (US$2.94m) into the hatchery to boost monthly egg production to 350kg.

Fuente Alamo (Murcia) (002)
Bioflytech's first facility in Fuente Álamo, in the Murcia region of Spain.

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