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VTT Launches ENERFISH Project for Biodiesel from Fish Waste

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.



Good idea. Best of luck. They mean processing waste. Fish waste is usually the stuff fish eliminate in the ocean.

Henry Gibson

Reminds me of the time someone was trying to promote recycled toilet paper.


Fish wastes of all persuasions are an inherantly valuable commodity and supply is likely to be increasingly constrained.
So while it sounds odd This may prove counterproductive unless the byproducts are realised.


These are fish wastes from the seafood production plant (e.g parts of fish not packed for food like heads, organs, fat etc). Those stuff normally make into feed industry for pigs, fish etc.

So now what they want to do is to use those stuff for biodiesel since it might be more profitable.

Andrey levin

HG: most of the toilet paper (which by itself is mostly made from recycled paper) is already recycled – into biogas on sewage treatment plants.


Greenwashing of one of the most destructive industries we know...

Alex Kovnat

We should remember the three R's of being a good ecological citizen, in the proper order:

First, REDUCE your consumption of any given commodity, so as to reduce generating waste in the first place.

Second, REUSE if at all possible, i.e. a cardboard box should be used again if at all possible.

Only then, after reducing one's consumption of any given commodity and reusing as much as possible, do we come to the third R, namely, RECYCLING. Seems to me that since people have to eat something, and if fish is going to be part of people's diets, and if by-products are going to be generated, we might as well recycle said byproducts into BioDiesel or whatever else is profitable.

I don't encourage wasting food, but since we can't eat orange or banana peels or certain other parts of various food items, we should devise processes for recycling said waste.

Vietnam's use of fish byproducts isn't a substitute for avoidance (if possible) of waste generation to start with, but as long as by products are available I can't fault them for making use of same.


If I dont get spammed, wich I just did!
I apologise for not using the apropriate language to describe what I meant to say.
That *hit and g*ts are really good for the garden so it would seems almost a waste to send up a chimney.
As a fertilizer of agricultural lands it probably has no equal but much of that value should be retained in the process residue.
The challenge could be keeping the flies and smell acceptable.High analysis fertilizers usually sell at two or three times the cost of (fossil fuel) feedstocks and Phosphorous - N.B. LiPo (and metals) fans - is becoming very scarce.

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