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09 August

A plant producing fish meal and fish oil from fish processing waste launched in Sakhalin, Chistyi Ostrov LLC

Development in All Aspects

Thrifty use of fish resources today is a key area of focus in fishing industry. Effective use of catch is an integral part of this approach. Sakhalin-based company Chistyi Ostrov puts this principle into practice. It is not mere coincidence that the launching ceremony held by this company, fully compliant with the most advanced vision of fishing industry, attracted attention at the federal and regional level. The ceremony was attended by Company Manager Victor Slivin, fishing business owner well-known on the islands, Federal Fishery Agency Director Ilya Shestakov and Sakhalin region Governor Oleg Kozhemyako.

The new facility is intended for production of high-quality goods such as fish meal and fish oil from salmon waste. Chistyi Ostrov is a part of a holding company engaged in breeding, harvesting and processing salmon. According to Victor Slivin, the cycle has become fully closed after the startup of the new plant: “Today, we breed salmon, harvest and process it and transform waste into valuable products.”

As Victor Slivin puts it, the idea to open a fish meal and fish oil production facility dates back to three years ago. They have given much consideration to this project, searched for optimal solutions and assessed various opportunities including foreign market proposals. Finally, they selected a domestic partner – Technological Equipment Engineering Company.

Speaking about drivers for establishing a new plant, Victor Slivin says: “I’m used to always doing something”. He has a reliable and experienced team: their company has a long-time pool of workforce with people being employed for 15–20 years. Chistyi Ostrov relieves fish processors of their concern about waste disposal. Waste will now generate income.

Even difficult times did not interfere with their plans. Nature has its own laws: salmon has repeatedly given unpleasant surprises to Sakhalin region in recent years – its seasonal run volume was lower than expected. But things like this do not stop further development investments. The idea was technologically implemented within a year.

Chistyi Ostrov is a full-cycle facility unique both for the Russian Far East and Russia as a whole: it is organized such that the surrounding community will feel virtually no effects of fish waste processing in its neighborhood. As no readymade solution was available, the facility has been designed proceeding from individual features and customized tasks.

“We have succeeded in creating a knowhow. And who is not willing to open a good production facility? Everybody is,” says Victor Slivin.

Keeping Up With The Times

Summer is a busy season for Sakhalin fishery managers. In the eastern coast of the island, salmon run starts in July and that is the month filled with suspense pertaining to when and how much fish will come, in which locations the salmon will emerge first. It is customary to talk cautiously about the first catches in order not to speak too soon.

That was the time a correspondent of the Fishnews Magazine visited Chistyi Ostrov. A tour around the site was organized by Mikhail Geut, chief engineer of the new plant, and Georgy Gotshalk, representative of Technological Equipment Company.

The plant is designed to be able to receive daily 60 tons of waste generated during production of chum and pink salmon products. Waste suppliers – fish processing factories of the holding – are located in close vicinity. But Chistyi Ostrov has enough capacity to solve waste disposal problems for other producers in Dolinsky district: it was decided to receive waste from third parties as well.

“Earlier, we buried waste or sent it for disposal to waste processing plants available in Sakhalin. Now, our equipment allows for fabrication of a valuable product rather than just for utilization of fish heads”, said Mikhail Geut. He is in charge of engineering matters at other production sites of the holding as well but, naturally, this new project is of a special interest for him.

In outline, the process flow is as follows. Fish by-products pass through a two-stage crushing unit where they are minced and then fed by a screw pump to the receiving hopper in the workshop. From there, they are fed to the heating section. The line is adjustable to different operating modes – at the peak of the fishing season and at times when fish supply is low, according to Georgy Gotshalk. When incoming material volumes are small, thermal treatment is performed in a scraped surface heat exchanger. Then heated feedstock is supplied to a three-stage decanter centrifuge where it is separated into three components. One – defatted boiled minced material (cake) – goes to drying. Resulting product is fish meal.

Another component – fish oil – is collected into stainless steel containers and fed to a separator for extra refining. After that it goes to the container for further packing. The third phase after separation stage is the processing of stick water (or broth, as it was named during Soviet times).

“We extract all protein and all dry matter from fish and retain it in our product. In other words, nothing is drained to sewers during plant operation”, noted the engineering company’s representative.

If there is much feedstock, for instance, at the peak of the fishing season, we use a press cooker for its thermal treatment which allows for a higher production rate than the heat exchanger. The plant incorporates equipment for automatic washing of the process line.

Chistyi Ostrov management is especially proud that their plant has been designed in line with advanced modern technologies; production unit is compact and automatically controlled. Using displays installed in the control room, one operator can control the whole process. In total, four persons are needed to operate the plant: the first one works at the central control panel, the second one operates the feedstock handling process, the third one discharges fish meal and the fourth one runs boiler equipment.

There are some specifics in processing of by-products of fatty fish species such as Pacific salmon. The equipment used at Chistyi Ostrov plant is capable of producing two valuable products from such feedstock – medical quality fish oil and fish meal.

There is more than one facility in the Russian Far East which operates state-of-the-art salmon waste processing technologies. However, the new Sakhalin-based plant is special in terms of environment protection. Normally, producers just discard stick water as its evaporation is expensive and some of them cannot afford buying additional equipment due to environment protection reasons. As for Chistyi Ostrov, it has implemented this principle: stick water is fed to an evaporator, as Georgy Gotshalk put it.

Juice vapor generated during fish meal production has a peculiar odor, and provision has been made at the Sakhalin-based plant to eliminate all environmental effects using a special treatment unit. By words of the engineering company’s representative, such technologies allow for production even within city precincts and with no complaints from community members.

Specialists have repeatedly emphasized that even the most advanced equipment cannot generate a high-quality product if no care is taken for raw material quality. Fish meal and fish oil production is no exception. Chistyi Ostrov management understands that and is ready to ensure proper quality of by-products. There is a continuous quality control process based on express test methods at the facility.

Product of Interest

The key issue in organization of a new production site is sale markets. Chistyi Ostrov management is sure that the company will see no difficulties in selling high-quality fish meal and fish oil. “A sale market is not a problem, it is unlimited”, says Victor Slivin. “Foreign representatives already approach us. Potential third party Russian buyers also show a lot of interest. Russian agriculture is currently in rapid development, and there is demand both for fish meal and fish oil. Those who raise cattle and pigs seek us out. Food quality fish oil can be used for medical purposes as an alimentary supplement. We apply latest technologies and there are many of those who are willing to acquire our product. The point is we need fish to produce the commodity.”

Plant staff is also sure that their products will be in demand. Both on the mainland and worldwide, fish meal is essential in the production of feedstuffs, further used in aquaculture, according to Mikhail Geut.

Health benefit of the fish oil is known to everybody from the school years. Oil from salmon species is considered particularly valuable due to the high content of omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids. Fish oil is good for the cardiovascular system, metabolic body processes and vision; it has positive effects on hair, skin, nails and assists in keeping a clear mind. It helps considerably in fighting stress, inevitable for the modern lifestyle.

Our country leaders keep telling us about the need for import substitution, developing our economy relying on our capabilities. According to experts, today we have to import fish oil derived substances for cosmetology. Furthermore, Russian sea farms have been complaining over the years about being dependent on foreign-made feedstuffs based on fish meal. Therefore, fish waste processing development is an activity complying with governmental policies aimed at import substitution. There is potential for recovering a whole fish meal industry lost since Soviet times.

Raw material delivery contracts have already been signed with a range of companies. There are more potential suppliers than that but the throughput capacity has to be taken into account, as it was stated by Victor Slivin. Chistyi Ostrov allows for implementation of the concept much discussed by experts. There are a lot of seasonal plants in Sakhalin Island optimized for processing small amounts of fish. For such companies, waste disposal to third parties is the most favorable solution.

The holding has set up a full chain: “release of juveniles – fish harvesting – processing – production of valuable fish meal and fish oil using state-of-the-art technologies”, says Sergey Senko, Chairman of the Board of the Sakhalin Region Association of Fishing Collective Farms and Companies. According to him, it is exactly that added value which the government waits from our industry.

Life Is Interesting

In general, Chistyi Ostrov solves social, economic and environmental tasks and achieves several targets set by the government. The holding is not going to rest on its laurels. They develop several other business lines in the fields of breeding salmon, harvesting and processing fish resources.

Margarita KRYUCHKOVA, “Fishnews Magazine”

August, 2016

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