SecAnim has said it is developing a Category 1 animal by-product processing facility at its renewable energy and recycling site in Widnes, Cheshire. The world-first operation completes a two-stage site regeneration plan, supported by a capital investment of more than £15 million.
Set to be commissioned in October 2020, the Shepherdson High Efficiency Plant (SHEP) will turn raw material into high-quality tallow and meat and bone meal. The tallow will be used as a core ingredient for the production of biodiesel, by companies such as SecAnim’s sister company ecoMotion, while the meat and bone meal will provide fuel for the site’s combined heat and power (CHP) biomass plant.
At the heart of the SHEP development is a highly advanced primary processing plant, which harnesses the latest advancements in low-temperature drying technology to maximise operational efficiencies. Designed to minimise environmental impact, the facility will use significantly less energy than the operation it replaces and is powered entirely by renewable electricity generated through the Category 1 animal by-product (ABP) rendering process. The plant harnesses state-of-the-art automation and health and safety processes (including gas detection and operator protection measures), while also setting the standards in odour elimination technology.
Operating alongside the site’s existing ReFood anaerobic digestion (AD) plant, SARVAL Category 3 rendering facility and bubbling fluidised bed (BFB) power plant, the SHEP development will complete the Widnes site’s pioneering operations, which will collectively provide the world’s first fully-integrated solution for protein manufacturing, biomass recycling and renewable energy production – harnessing next-generation technologies to maximise the value in by-products arising from across the food chain.
Heat required for the SHEP’s operations will be provided by the on-site biomass CHP plant, supported by biomethane from the ReFood AD plant. Effluent will be treated on-site, in line with the latest environmental standards, while the CHP plant will also be used to eliminate odours from the SHEP facility, rather than relying on chemical treatment.
Collectively, the plants will also provide a recycling outlet for the disposal of bioliquids, as well as producing two arable fertilisers (Kalfos, a dry phosphate product; and ReGrow, a PAS110 liquid biofertiliser) – a completely integrated, closed-loop solution for the UK’s food supply chain.
Philip Simpson, commercial director at SARIA – parent company of SecAnim, SARVAL and ReFood, said: “Our Widnes operation has provided safe and secure animal by-product processing services since the 1930s. The site has long-since featured in the UK National Animal Disease Control and Eradication plans.
“We are delighted to unveil the culmination of our redevelopment programme, which creates a completely unique, fully-integrated, state-of-the-art solution for by-products arising from the food chain and represents a total recent SARIA investment at Widnes of almost £50 million. Forming an integrated unit together with the SARVAL, and ReFood plants, as well as the BFB, the SHEP facility sets the standards in capability, efficiency and sustainability – no other single operation in the UK can offer similar facilities or deliver similar benefits.”
The new development consolidates SecAnim’s Category 1 national processing infrastructure into a single, integrated site. As part of this programme, the company has announced that its Exeter facility will close later this year. ABP collection services across the South West will be unaffected, thanks to existing facilities in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.