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Sweco pre-engineering for Volare production facility to revolutionise food production

Published: Mar 23, 2023

The industrial-scale production plant planned to be built in Järvenpää, Finland, will produce high-quality protein for pet food and fish feed, oil to replace palm oil, and peat-like fertiliser for organic farming. The revolutionary production concept is to use side streams from food production with the help of insects. Construction is scheduled to begin this year.

The production technology patented by the Finnish company Volare is based on feeding the larvae of the black soldier fly with side streams that are difficult to utilise in food production, such as inedible parts of grains. The production method does not generate new side streams or utilise chemicals. According to the company’s calculations, one kilogram of insect protein can be produced with 97% less water compared to soy protein.

The plant produces about 5,000 tonnes of feed products annually, which could, for example, feed nearly five million farmed salmon. According to a recent study by Natural Resources Institute Finland, feed raw materials account for as much as 74% of the climate impact of domestically farmed rainbow trout.

“Volare’s goal is to make a genuine circular economy solution a permanent part of food production for human and animal food, and the application possibilities and economic, social and environmental impacts of our products are unparalleled in terms of scalability. We will be able to solve major crises of our lifetime, such as the climate crisis, water and land use, and food security,” says Tuure Parviainen, CEO of Volare.

Sweco has actively participated in the preliminary planning of the site, especially in terms of process and warehouse planning. The commenting phase has also employed Sweco’s experts in building technology, structural engineering, land use and construction management, as well as architects.

The factory’s design solutions aim to find the most appropriate solutions in accordance with Volare’s values. The frame material is considered to be a combination of low-carbon concrete, reinforced concrete structures and glulam column and beam frames. The aim is to minimise environmental impacts through energy efficiency, i.e. by examining the utilisation of heat recovery, process water recycling, solar panels, geothermal heat and heat generated by the process, among other things. In earthworks and foundation work, the mass balance is optimised and transport is minimized.

“We chose Sweco as our design partner because we were impressed by Sweco’s previous track record of demanding circular economy solutions and strong expertise in sustainable construction combined with local knowledge. As an international partner like Sweco, we are able to harness a huge amount of expertise that supports us at a critical stage for our business,” Parviainen continues.

“We are excited to be part of this inspiring and innovative entrepreneurial story that encapsulates our value proposition so brilliantly in practice. These are exactly the kinds of solutions we need to accelerate the circular economy,” says Leena Pirhonen, Department Manager, Industrial Circular Economy Processes at Sweco.

The construction of Volare’s first commercial-scale plant is now in the pre-engineering phase. In the next phases, an investment decision is sought for the plant and planning continues to a more detailed level. Volare aims to build several additional plants in Europe in the next few years.

Further information:
Leena Pirhonen, Department Manager, Sweco, 040 348 5428, leena.pirhonen@sweco.fi
Heini Jokinen, PR and Media Relations, Sweco, 040 718 0063, heini.jokinen@sweco.fi
Tuure Parviainen, CEO, Volare, tuure@volare.fi


Images: Volare