Seafood manufacturer sets environmental standards
AN INTERNATIONAL exporter of seafood dedicated to top world standards of environmental protection and sustainability has introduced new high efficiency wastewater treatment to its Seychelles manufacturing plant in a pristine area of the Indian Ocean 7,000km west of Perth.
The India Ocean Tuna plant incorporates the latest Global Water & Energy (GWE) aerobic and anaerobic digestion plants represented in Australasia by CST Wastewater Solutions, which says the widely applicable technology will not only achieve outstanding effluent qualities but, depending on how it is utilised, can also provide biogas.
This renewable energy, which has the potential to replace fossil fuels by turning wastewater organic content into green energy, is broadly applicable to a wide range of onshore and offshore food, beverage, aquaculture and agriculture processing operations in Australasia, says CST Wastewater Solutions Managing Director Michael Bambridge.
Indian Ocean Tuna’s seafood processing operation is in Victoria, capital of the Seychelles archipelago of 115 islands, 600km off the coast of East Afric. They are renowned for their natural beauty and are home to UNESCO World heritage sites.
The Victoria processing plant – an operation of the Thai Union Group Public Company – produces 2,000 cubic metres a day of wastewater in its processing and canning operations.
The new GWE plant is designed to remove over 95 percent of organic contaminants from the wastewater. The plant, commissioned this year, uses treatment processes including its globally proven ANAMIX anaerobic waste digester to achieve outstanding discharge qualities, and convert a mixture of wastewater and sludge into biogas, which can later reduce the company’s dependence on fossil fuels and minimise their environmental impact.
“Such benefits are also available to any Australasian processing operation with a biological waste stream, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy, crop and brewery and beverage operations, where the technology involved has already been proven in service,” said Bambridge.
The ANAMIX process – which is designed to maximise the contact between the anaerobic biomass digestion process and the biological waste – comprises a completely mixed anaerobic reactor, especially suitable for the digestion of wastewater with significant fat, oil and grease (FOG) content – as is this case, waste streams from fish and seafood processing.
During the ANAMIX digestion process, anaerobic bacteria convert organic contamination in sludge and wastewater into biogas, which can be turned into methane and later utilised for energy production and used as fuel for electric power generators or to replace fossil fuels in steam boilers and heaters on the production site.
By extracting biogas ( primarily methane) from the organic waste removed, the fish processing plant can save more than 2,000 kg/d of fuel oil, worth about USD 1,000 per day, decreasing the fossil fuel dependency of the company, and reducing its environmental footprint. Such savings can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and achieve a rapid ROI for the wastewater treatment plant, says GWE.
“With world seafood production now topping 170 million tons – both from fisheries and aquaculture – there is obviously great scope globally for GWE technologies such those adopted by Indian Ocean Tuna to deliver a more sustainable environmental outcome. This plant sets global benchmarks for environmental outcomes and commercial sustainability,” says GWE.
With its new wastewater treatment plant, Indian Ocean Tuna significantly reduces its impact on the surrounding water and grounds. Application of the anaerobic digester such as ANAMIX and mechanical dewatering by means of screw press contributes to significant reduction in disposal costs and lower landfills requirements for their solid waste.
GWE, which has more than 400 wastewater plants in 64 countries, has recently rebranded from Global Water Engineering to reflect a growing focus on turning wastewater into green energy.
Benefits of the GWE technology include:
• Effective organic contamination removal from the wastewater stream before discharge minimises the impact on the environment.
• Up to 3,000 cubic metres a day of biogas generated can be utilised by Indian Ocean Tuna in many profitable ways, ranging from use in the company’s boiler and heat processes through to production of green electricity for company or community use.
• An additional environmental benefit is the plant’s low space requirements for landfills, due to the advanced management of sludge by application of the ANAMIX digester and sludge dewatering unit screw press. The process delivers significant sludge disposal cost savings.
• Mechanical sludge dewatering with a screw press process that allows high dry solids content and contributes to the significant reductions in disposal costs. Bambridge says that not only is the plant installed by Indian Ocean Tuna an environmental boon for the Seychelles, but also biogas- producing green energy plants such as this can help pay for themselves. So there is a strong business profitability case to support companies wishing to act in an environmentally responsible manner,” says Bambridge, whose company is currently involved in engineering waste sludge and wastewater treatment solutions in environmentally sensitive areas ranging from mainland farmlands, factories and processing plants through to Outback and World heritage areas such as Lord Howe Island.
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