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 commercialization 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, according to VTT.
Coordinated by VTT, ENERFISH 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.
Hiep Thanh Seafood JSC produces 120,000 kg of fish processing waste daily. At the moment it is sold to the feed industry.
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.—Aulis Ranne, Senior Research Scientist at VTT
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.
Because Vietnam has a large number of fish processing plants, the location is ideally suited for a pilot plant. There is local need for decentralized 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.
The other organizations involved in the project are TÜV Rheinland (Germany); Technofi (France); NEF—the National Energy Foundation (UK); Preseco Oy (Finland); Vahterus Oy (Finland); ECC—Energy Conservation Center for Ho Chi Minh 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 €5 million (US$6.5 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.