Denholm Seafoods building GBP 30 million processing facility for mackerel and herring

Denholm Seafoods' current processing plant in Peterhead, U.K.

Peterhead, U.K.-based Denholm Seafoods has begun work on a new GBP 30 million (USD 36.1 million, EUR 34.1 million) processing facility for its mackerel and herring catches.

The upgrade on its current facility, and a concurrent upgrade of its cold-storage capacity, will result in increased efficiencies, enhanced product quality, and a lower carbon footprint, according to the company.

“The investment – one of the largest ever undertaken by a wild-caught fish processing company in Scotland – will deliver a state-of-the-art fish handling and storage system, which will benefit the Scottish pelagic (mackerel, herring, and blue whiting) fleet and provide opportunities to develop new markets,” it said in a press release.

The new facility, expected to be completed by summer 2024, will enhance Denholm Seafoods’ speed in transforming raw fish into frozen end-products while reducing its energy use by 30 to 40 percent. The upgrade will include an automated fish-processing system designed and supplied by Skaginn 3X, which previously provided Denholm Seafoods a new ValuePump fish-transfer system.

“The provision of a new low pressure pump system to offload mackerel, herring, and blue whiting catches from boats on the quayside will deliver fish-quality benefits, which will be further enhanced by a new non-pressure plate-freezing system that freezes the end-product much quicker than before,” Denholm Seafoods said. “The facility’s ‘intelligent’ process is designed to take about six hours from the time the raw material enters the factory through to final storage of the end frozen product.”

The expansion also includes the construction of a new 12,000-square-meter cold-storage unit adjacent to the processing facility, to be completed by late summer 2023. The additional space will expand the company’s daily freezing capacity and boost cold storage capacity to 19,000 metric tons, it said.

Denholm Seafoods Managing Director Richard Duthie said the company has the ability within the design to further increase its freezing and storage capacity at a later date.

“We are tremendously excited by this new investment, which will deliver benefits to Scotland’s important pelagic sector, and provide us with a platform for new growth. With soaring energy costs and the need to increase efficiency, product quality and automation, this project will ensure we remain competitive in a global marketplace and enable us to develop markets in key areas such as the Far East,” Duthie said. “It will, for example, enable us to explore new opportunities in value-added processing by providing increased flexibility in meeting customer requirements. Research has shown that Scottish mackerel production already has a much lower carbon footprint compared to most other types of protein production, and this new facility will enhance that green reputation even further.”

The project was supported by GBP 2.8 million (USD 3.4 million, EUR 3.2 million) provided by the U.K. Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) via its 100 million (USD 121 million, EUR 113 million) U.K. Seafood Fund and GBP 1.2 million (USD 1.4 million, EUR 1.3 million) from the Scottish government through the Marine Fund Scotland.

Photo courtesy of Denholm Seafoods


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