The Euro-Baltic fish processing centre is one of the success stories of modern food processing.

The plant is owned by Parleveliet and Van der Plas of Holland and is the major processing plant for herring in the Baltic. German fishermen land all their herring and a variety of other species such as sprats and flounder at the plant’s pier.

The plant is the only one of its kind operating in Germany. The original 14,000m² processing plant was opened in 2003 (construction started in 2001 and cost €100 million, with 55% of this capital coming from EU funding) and has enjoyed
enormous success.

“The Euro-Baltic fish processing centre is the major processing plant for herring in the Baltic.”

The plant is now being expanded within the confines of its 12ha site to increase its capacity for processing herring.

The new investment is estimated at €35m (one-third of this capital is being provided by the host state Germany) and will involve the construction of new buildings and the expansion of cold storage facilities and waste water treatment.

The new plant will be able to process over 70,000t of fish each year and will be one of the largest and most modern fish processing plants in the world. The company currently employs 150 workers but when the expansion project is completed in 2007 this
is likely to rise to 200.

PLANT FACILITIES

The processing centre comprises two buildings: a processing plant and a refrigeration plant. The processing plant has a floor area of 14,000m². The plant has the ability to sort, skin, fillet, marinate and freeze all of its fish automatically.
The plate freezers have the capacity to freeze processed and non-processed products down to -35ºC.

35t of products can be sorted per hour. In 24 hours 500t herring can be filleted. The plant has the capability to fillet about 50,000t of fish annually.

The processing plant has its own fishmeal plant and a separate water treatment plant to ensure that the processing plant has no problem effects on the environment. The purified water from the wastewater treatment plant is pumped into the Baltic Sea
(40m³ per hour if required).

“The new plant will be able to process over 70,000t of fish each year.”

The cold-store has a total surface of 7,000m² (115m long, 62m wide, 28m high) along with a 32m deep freeze tower. The cold-store is fully automatic and can store 22,000t of fish at -28°C and also 3,000t can be chilled at 0°C.

In all the processing areas, the air is constantly cleaned by a biological filter system.

The plant uses a modular-based information system called WiseFish, which was designed for the special needs of the fishing, seafood and aquaculture industries.
WiseFish covers the complete value chain, providing an integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution.

The fish products produced are retailed in the domestic market in Germany and throughout the world.

PROCESSING PLANT CONSTRUCTION

KAEFER in Neubrandenburg was involved in the original construction of the fish processing centre fitting 8,000m² of façades, 20,000m² of inside panelling for walls and ceilings and also carrying out all the dry construction work
including 200CR, DCR, fire protection and dry construction doors as well as high-quality gates and windows and a high-performance heating system.

Sæplast of Iceland supplied 3,000 700l insulated polyethylene Euro-size PE containers for use at the plant. The tubs were manufactured at Dalvík in north Iceland and are constructed from a tough recyclable polyethylene shell and insulated
with rigid polyurethane foam.

Axima Refrigeration provided the refrigeration and cooling equipment for the original plant. The company installed a series of ammonia compressors and CO2 and glycol pumps for the cooling requirements of the plant. One of their most successful
installations was hot gas defrosting based on CO2 technology.

FISH PROCESSING EQUIPMENT

The plant uses automatic herring processing machines from BAADER. The BAADER 221 LS (heading and filleting machine) and BAADER 36 FS (small fish filleting machine) are the heart of the operation.

Separating of the fresh or thawed fish is carried out on a high-powered BAADER 488. Heading, gutting and filleting (single and butterfly fillets are possible) are all fully automatic processes.

“The new plant will be one of the largest and most modern fish processing plants in the world.”

The fillets with skin are then automatically transferred to the integrated skinning machine BAADER 56 which includes a piece cutter so that with a minimum of effort skinned single fillets or skinned herring pieces can be produced for further
processing to marinades. Herring fillets with skin are also used in the canning industry.

A unique ‘line monitoring system’ enables the company to generate data on production efficiency of the BAADER machinery, and make process adaptations.

At the plant in a typical 24 hour period 600t of fish can be stored for maturing in marinades at a
cool temperature, 240t of fish can be packed and frozen and 100t can be thawed and processed simultaneously.

The centre has its own power generator and products can then be supplied to customers either fresh, frozen, thawed or to the customer’s own marinade recipe.