Gentle aqua feed handling for offshore farming

GRAINTEC has vast knowledge in designing both mechanical and hydraulic systems for gentle handling and distribution of aqua feed pellets. Graintec is currently designing a hydraulic salmon feed handling and distribution solution to Pelaqua AS for their innovative off-shore salmon farm concept – WaveFlex.

Using hydraulic conveying of aqua feed pellets, being it for off-shore or land-based fish farms, are the gentlest form of aqua feed handling and significantly reduces the feed losses seen in more typical mechanical and pneumatic feed handling systems.  In addition, it reduces energy consumption and maintenance issues related to cleaning of pneumatic blowing pipes, airlocks and feed distributors. If you want to learn more about our feed handling solutions please contact us at

Link: Read more about Pelaquas WaveFlex concept in the article (text in Norwegian)

Graintec contributed to the world’s first off shore fish farm

The first off shore fish farm is taken into production of salmon by SalMar during autumn 2017.

The farm is built under a development licence given by the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal affairs, with the objective to spur new technology concepts, that can ensure sufficient growth, whilst also ensuring environmental sustainability.

Graintec has participated in this novel project for the last 3 years. Graintec has designed, delivered and installed all fish feed handling and transport equipment on the fish farm. This includes all equipment from intake and storage, to correct dosing and transport of the fish feed into the cage. All conveying and storage of the fish feed is designed to be very gentle, to protect structural integrity of the pellets.

Top modern shrimp feed facility in Ecuador

A new joint venture investment makes the construction of a greenfield project for a state-of-the-art shrimp feed facility reality. The new facility is located near the city of Guayaquil and has capacity to annually produce around 130,000 tons of high quality shrimp feed for supplying the local market.

cargill_A GRAINTEC project team in cooperation with a Cargill project team have worked out the complete technical design of the factory. Both staff from GRAINTEC’s headquarters in Denmark and from the office in Chile have been part of this project.

The joint venture between Cargill and Naturisa creates new opportunities and makes the aquaculture industry in Ecuador increasingly dynamic. The state-of-the-art facility incorporates newest technology and sets high quality standards.

“The challenge with shrimp food is the right density of the food in order to ensure that the feed keeps its quality when floating”, says Cristian Toscano, Graintec´s Area Sales Manager for Latin America. “The production process requires the right pelletizers and extruding technology in order to receive the best feed conversion rate.” In addition to having the industry’s most modern technology, the Ecuadorian facility will be earthquake secured and constructed with the highest local safety requirements.

 We expect commercial production of the new facility to start before summer 2018.





A breakthrough in salmon farming

New ways of farming salmon are on the way and at GRAINTEC we are happy to be part of yet another groundbreaking project. With growing focus on sustainability and fish welfare, the newest project by the Norwegian Ocean Farming AS will bring salmon farming offshore.

The project has been on the way for a long time, as feasibility studies started back in 2012 and various technical solutions have been assessed. The outcome of the extensive studies has resulted in an offshore farming installation that, as the first in the world, combines marine biology, marine cybernetics and marine engineering with newest data technology. The facility is highly technological and supported by underwater sensors and other backing systems, taking the monitoring of the feed process to another level.

GRAINTEC’s contribution to the project lies in the equipment and systems for the distribution and receiving of fish feed on the facility. Having a slack-anchored, semi-submersible facility floating on the water poses new challenges to fish farming technologies. “It has been an exciting challenge to combine the perfect technology within the limited space we have on the facility, while keeping performance, weight and little energy consumption into consideration”, says Martin Olde Heuvel, Project Manager from Graintec. All operations for handling the fish can be performed directly on board by a crew of three to four people.

Salmar-logoAs a subsidiary of the Salmar Group, Ocean Farming AS has been established for developing offshore salmon farming possibilities. To help fund the concept

development phase, Ocean Farming AS received grants from Innovation Norway. Production start for the offshore facility is scheduled for mid/end 2017.

The use of inshore farming facilities is limited and there is a need for new approaches. By placing facilities offshore, farms are less exposed to tidal currents and the currents are more constant. Also, the fish are less exposed to possible illnesses. It is expected that offshore farming will grow constantly over the next decades.

For more information, please contact GRAINTEC.



Yet another historic order for Graintec

marineharvestFollowing its success with huge orders from earlier, GRAINTEC has secured a large design and supply order for a new fish feed factory. The company Marine Harvest Scotland Ltd. is going to build Europe´s most modern salmon feed plant – a high technology factory on the Isle of Skye, where Denmark-based Graintec A/S stands for the project design.

The new factory is going to produce 170,000 tons a year. With a total contract value of about 33,5 million Euro, the project is the second largest order in Graintec’s history. High technology is going to play a central role and with the current trend for sustainability and organic food, the factory will meet many different demands. Fish feed for different sized salmon can be produced (both starter and grower fish) and there will be organic feed production. The technology that is implemented by Graintec will include a new solution for grinding and will focus on energy recovery, which is one of the areas the Danish company with subsidiaries on several continents has specialized in.

“We are world leaders with regard to the production process of salmon food, meaning that there is a 67% chance that the salmon you buy in the store has been fed with food from a production plant where Graintec in one way or other has been involved in”, says CEO Niels Pedersen. “We did it again, and look forward to extend our good collaboration and the works on the Kyleakin project”, he says proudly, referring to 2012, where Graintec received its biggest design order, a feed factory for the Norwegian Marine Harvest ASA with a contract sum of about 36 million Euro.

SiteGraintec has specialized in eco-friendly production facilities for extruded fish feed and pet food. The company executes projects, designs and installs production plants, and acts further as consultants in the field. Efficiency and responsibility for the environment, as well as hygiene and research within the field are key matters for Graintec. Due to a focused and customer-oriented approach, Graintec has been able to triple the yearly turnover to an average 39 million Euro over a three-year period.

The state-of-the-art feed plant placed in Kyleakin, on the Scottish Isle of Skye, is going to produce feed for Scotland and other Marine Harvest sites in the North Atlantic region. Further development on the site is depending on the coming construction permits. Planning permission is expected later this year and commercial production will start in summer 2018.



GRAINTEC A/S secures contract for expansion of production capacity at BioMar, Karmøy.

The sun is shining so lovely in August and at Graintec HQ we are celebrating the win of the order to expand the fish feed production facilities at BioMar’s plant at Karmøy in Norway.  Earlier this summer BioMar announced that their Karmøy plant had been chosen for a new high efficiency production line – the prospects are to boost the capacity with at least 140,000 tonnes fish feed per year. The new production line is expected to come on stream in Q2 2017, which would make the factory one of the biggest fish-feed production facilities worldwide.

Graintec will be responsible for design and engineering, procurement and installation and we are already well underway, as we have been part of the initial design – this process has been underway for the past couple of years, before the final design was decided. The all-over design of the site and expansion has been undertaken by Graintec, from site layout, building design to detailed process design. This package includes many different capabilities, which all have been under the design and development by Graintec.

The supply contract includes design, supply and installation of process equipment for a high capacity line of 30 tons per hour finished product, with the state of art equipment to ensure a long term operation with a service friendly design for future maintenance.

Graintec is fully committed to undertake the assignment – delivery on time, on spec, on budget and to maintain a long lasting relation with BioMar.

Environmental-friendly solutions to enhance quality and profit in the Aquafeed industry

Within in the next five years, the annual production of aqua feed is expected to make a considerable increase from todays 50 million tonnes to no less than 70 million tonnes per year in 2020. The industry is experiencing a rapid growth in order to meet the rising demand for marine protein. However, a significant growth in production unavoidably triggers a significant growth in energy consumption. This consequence can prove to become rather costly in a world where taxations implemented to prevent environmentally damaging CO2 emissions are increasing. In this regard, the consequence of a heightened energy consumption will also become costly for the environment. Can we really afford that? Therefore, a critical inspection into the production lines’ largest energy guzzlers is recommendable.

goldfish_bowl_dessertOne of the most important procedures during the production of extruded aqua feed is the drying of the pellets. This process will determine the technical quality of the product; its shelf life (especially in connection to transportation), its ability to absorb large amounts of fat/oil, prevent pellet corruption and ensure its ability to either flow or sink when fed to the fish. All in all to ensure the lowest loss of profit. The drying process can at the same time be put down for at least 60 % of the total energy consumption per tonne produced aqua feed, which in 2020 will reach an annual energy consumption of no less than 7,8 billion kWh – corresponding to the electricity use of approximately 781,000 single-family homes per year.

The drying is a delicate process in the production, but with the right adjustments, the challenge can be turned into a competitive resource. Of course, it is easier said than done. In order to ensure a tolerable homogeneity during the drying process most manufactures resort to multiple conveyor belts or multiple vertical batch dryers with multiple drying-zones, retention-time, air volume, air temperature, fluctuating humidity levels and others variables, which with absolute certainty can make the consequences of even the slightest adjustment to any of the parameters utterly immeasurable.

Industritørre-er-ofte-12m-lange-og-5m-højeIn fear of creating incalculable consequences harming the quality of the product, the only variable adjusted is often the temperature of the airflow. Warm air is normally the main component in the drying process, and there seems to be a belief that by adding warmth the quality increases. Unfortunately, the only thing that will happen by adjusting the temperature up and down is the risk of tampering with the pellet’s quality; all the while, the energy consumption may experience a significant increase.

According to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact, we should make an effort to our environment, as their studies show that the heat level may increase with 4 ⁰C before 2021, which will cause a linkage of harmful consequences. For instant severe water-shortage on global scale and the sea will rise up to 1 meter, causing tremendous damage. Damage that the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report of 2014 clearly states we are not ready to handle. This are surely alarming prospects, however the report fortunately also brings some consolation. “…there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now”. A consolation we believe we should understand as a challenge.

Turn-down-the-heatThe pressing question of how to make quality, economy and environmental friendliness go hand-in-hand must now certainly be of interest to many feed producers. In collaboration with The University of Southern Denmark, Graintec A/S has initiated a Ph.D. project, which has the objective to clarify the correlations between the many parameters involved in the drying process in order to make an eco-friendly solution. Furthermore, it is sought to construct a mathematical model, making it possible to outline and predict the active water content and temperature in the pellets while drying, through systematic testing. The first test results show that airspeed has a great impact on creating a uniform drying process of the pellets – without turning up the heat.

The project is expected to end in spring 2016 and results will be published.

Environment, quality and economy in profitable interaction is what we research to obtain.


Europe’s first factory to convert…

Europe’s first factory to convert sewage sludge into environmentally friendly fertilizer opened April 30, 2015 in Rogaland, Norway.

As the supplier of machines and installation contactor of the process equipment and control system, GRAINTEC was present at the grand opening along with the Norwegian Minister for Climate and Environment and other guests.

Åbning-med-logo IVAR IKS is a water-, sewage-, and waste-company that constructs and operates municipal facilities for water, waste water and general waste and seeks to secure the region`s most competitive water, waste water and waste services.

In 2012, IVAR IKS contacted GRAINTEC in regards to an innovating project. They had the vision to convert seemingly useless waste sludge from sewage into eco-friendly fertilizer pellets by adding nutrients to the sludge when dried. Beneficial for both environmental and economic perspectives. Holding this innovatory premise, tests and pre-trails were conducted together with GRAINTEC and with positive test-results, the project launched.

Not only is the fertilizer pellets (named MINORGA) a great utilization of a waste product that normally would become an expense to dispose of; it is also a sustainable and profitable product, as it is suitable for agricultural use – especially in grain-growing areas.

The production nominal capacity is 10,000 tons pressed pellets per year, corresponding to one production-shift per day, 5 days a week. The capacity can be raised by extending to several shifts.

Engineering and installing the process line for this innovating project has been an interesting and significant assignment for GRAINTEC, and we congratulate IVAR on the opening. Your business is appreciated.

Refurbishing or replacing major equipment – High vs. Low risk

You have been operating a pet food production line for many years. The on-going expenses is increasing every year. Down time losses and product quality is becoming an issue.

Being In charge of production or maintenance, you recognize the need to refurbishing or replacing major equipment like extruders and dryers. You have identified the high risk involved in the implementation of the project including coordinating; downtime; implementation in a running facility; startup problems and commissioning time. All good reasons for a thorough risk analysis and for not making the proceedings due to a forecast of the high risk.

However, your risk is not eliminated continuing producing on outworn equipment. A major breakdown is not a matter about “if it happens” – but “when it happens” with associated risks and costs for not being able to fulfill your production needs for days? for weeks? Or in worst case even for months?

Engaging GRAINTEC in your revamp project minimize your risks! We undertake full responsibility from feasibility studies to commissioned project, including Project Management – Detailed Engineering – Purchasing – Supply of equipment – Dismantling – Installation works – As Build Documentation – Pre Startup Testing – Commissioning and Training of your employees. We undertake the project with performance as well as downtime guarantees.

GRAINTEC is the specialized EPC Company within the pet food industry that has the competences and resources, as well as documented references confirming our successful capabilities. The number of upgrade projects for the pet and aqua feed industries amounts to more than 200 projects.

Contact GRAINTEC with offices in China, Chile, Denmark and Kansas US, for a talk about your challenges


Bulk logistic and gentle handling of salmon feed

In recent years various ways of a more rational and gentle transport of especially salmon feed have been requested by fish feed manufactures and fish farms.

Because of this, Graintec has over the last 10-12 years supplied bulk handling systems for new or rebuilt boats and onshore bulk handling and silo installations, which can bring the fish feed as a bulk product directly to the fish feed barge.

The pellets are stored directly into onshore bulk silos and from the silos the feed pellets are transported directly and gentle into the feed bulk boat and shipped to the feed barge from where it is finally fed to the fish.

Once the logistic chain is set, the advantages of this solution are a more efficient handling of the feed with less need of manpower, profitable transportation time and no packaging costs. Finally yet importantly, the environment benefits of the gentle handling without pellet waste and packaging handling gives an improved green footprint solution.


Fig. The Logistic Salmon Feed Delivery Chain


Presently it is estimated that more than 35% of all salmon feed in Norway is handled as bulk products but this percentage will most probably grow further in the coming years. GRAINTEC will continue to stay in from with smart solutions for gentle handling and storing of bulk fish feed.