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Biodiesel from fish waste in a collaboration project coordinated by Finnish VTT

A pilot plant in Vietnam boosts the creation of new business

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and its partners have launched ENERFISH, a three-year project concerned with producing biodiesel from the waste generated at a fish processing plant. To ensure the viability and rapid commercialisation of the technology, the partners are constructing a biodiesel production plant next to the Vietnamese fish processing plant Hiep Thanh Seafood JSC.

The project team is also developing a cooling system based on the use of carbon dioxide and a freezer system suitable for fish processing operations. Energy savings of 20% can be achieved with a new kind of freezer system. Coordinated by VTT, the project involves the cooperation of several Finnish and Vietnamese SMEs. The majority of the project funding comes from the European Union. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland is financing the construction of the demonstration equipment in Vietnam.

"Using waste from the fish processing industry as a renewable energy source can be turned into a highly profitable business operation. The project partners aim to generate significant business during the project lifetime," says Aulis Ranne, Senior Research Scientist at VTT. Project execution is based on technology tested in a basic research process.

The demonstration equipment at Hiep Thanh Seafood JSC will be built to ensure that the equipment is functional and to guarantee a rapid time to market for the new technology.

"We became interested in the project because it is an opportunity for us to take into use latest technology, and to reduce environmental hazards caused by the production", says Mr Nguyen Van Phan, President and General Manager of Hiep Thanh Seafood JSC. The company produces 120.000 kg of fish processing waste daily. At the moment it is sold for feed industry.

Because Vietnam has a large number of fish processing plants, the location is ideally suited for a pilot plant. There is local need for decentralised energy production as well as state-of-the-art cooling technology. The countries of South-East Asia and China are the global hubs of fish processing.

In addition to generating ideas and coordinating the project, VTT contributes to various research and demonstration assignments aimed at optimising the plant integration and developing its functions. The other organisations involved in the project are TÜV Rheinland (Germany), Technofi (France), NEF - the National Energy Foundation (UK), Hiep Thanh Seafood JSC (Vietnam), Preseco Oy (Finland), Vahterus Oy (Finland), ECC - Energy Conservation Center for Hochiminh City (Vietnam), RCEE Energy and Environment JSC (Vietnam) and AFI-Industry JSC (Vietnam).

The idea for the ENERFISH project arose from the global need to increase the use of renewable energy sources. Obtaining EU funding for the project was facilitated by the EU policy promoting the sharing of technology expertise with the developing countries and employing local production resources.

The total project budget is EUR 5 million, of which EU funding accounts for approximately 60% and funding from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland for approximately 10%. The ENERFISH project was launched in October 2008 and it is scheduled for completion in 2011.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is the biggest contract research organization in Northern Europe. VTT provides high-end technology solutions and innovation services. From its wide knowledge base, VTT can combine different technologies, create new innovations and a substantial range of world-class technologies and applied research services, thus improving its clients' competitiveness and competence. Through its international scientific and technology network, VTT can produce information, upgrade technology knowledge and create business intelligence and value added to its stakeholders.

Press Office | alfa
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