Waste-to-nutrient group AgriProtein aims to break ground on its second South African fly factory in November.
AgriProtein rears fly larvae on organic waste and harvests the larvae to make natural, high-protein animal and fish feed products.
The company believes insect meal presents a more sustainable alternative to fishmeal, with the production process also diverting large volumes of organic waste from landfills to feed the larvae.
The Gauteng factory will supply the global aqua feed market, AgriProtein business development and strategy director Simon Houghton tells Engineering News Online.
Houghton does not yet want to pinpoint the location of the farm, noting only that the roughly R500-million project will encompass 11 000 m2 under roof.
AgriProtein started operations in Cape Town in 2015, launching the world’s first commercial-waste-to-protein fly factory.
The London-based group also conducts extensive research projects on the waste-to-nutrient cycle in South Africa.
AgriProtein has, since 2015, seen increased global momentum in its animal feed production venture.
The company has already allocated licences for fly farms in the US, Asia, Australasia and the Middle East.
In February last year it announced a partnership with Austrian engineers Christof Industries, enabling it to roll out its fly factory blueprint on a turnkey basis anywhere in the world at the rate of 25 a year, or, more than two a month.
AgriProtein aims to build a network of 100 insect protein factories by 2024 and 200 by 2027, supplying the $100-billion animal and aqua feed market.
AgriProtein announced this month that it has received a further investment of $105-million into its UK holding company.
“In addition, we are expecting a number of our locally financed country-level projects to reach financial close over the coming year, which will put us on track to deliver our exciting factory roll-out plan.
“This investment is a big boost for the industry, as we continue to work towards developing more sustainable protein for animal diets. We continue to view the world differently, recognising the true value of organic waste as a resource.”
AgriProtein says it is set for “rapid growth on many fronts”, following a year of successful fund raising in 2017.
“The potential uses for our products are growing each year and we intend to further develop these applications commercially. With a planned expansion of our research and development team to over 45 researchers by the end of 2018, we are investing in additional laboratory buildings and capabilities at our Cape Town site.
“We are also developing links with partner institutes in the Middle East, Asia and the US as we seek to build additional local research and development capacity to support our regional roll-out plans.”