World's first starfish plant under way at GreenLab Skive, Denmark

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

On 16 April, Danish Marine Protein broke ground at GreenLab Skive. The company converts starfish into organic protein, and its new plant will be the first full-scale facility of its kind in Denmark – and the world.

On Monday, 16 April 2018, the groundbreaking ceremony for a Danish Marine Protein production plant took place at the industrial park GreenLab Skive, located in Jutland, Denmark. Danish Marine Protein (DMP) mainly harvests starfish in the Limfjord, where they pose a growing problem to this low inland fjord’s blue-mussel production and aquaculture. The starfish are dehydrated and converted into a marine-based protein supplement for organic animal feed.

“Here we have the opportunity to create a locally based production of sustainable protein and solve a local problem at the same time,” explains Steen Bitsch, who is Managing Director of the regional grain and feed company Vestjyllands Andel and Chairman of the Board at DMP. “On top of that, we can directly benefit from the industrial symbiosis at GreenLab Skive, using excess heat from other production processes in our dehydration. This location is a win-win situation in more ways than one.”

The plant will be the first of its kind in Denmark – and the world. On one hand, the company is addressing the problem of starfish invading the Limfjord ecosystem, eating the fjord’s native blue mussels and thereby threatening local exports. On the other hand, the starfish become a high-quality protein supplement in the organic feed that various types of organic farmers are requesting.

DMP’s Managing Director, Niels Jørgen Hedeager Madsen, elaborates: “We’ve been working with this concept for several years, and the potential has always been clear. Now we’re ready to go full scale. Lately we’ve been looking for the right location for our production plant,” he points out, “and in deciding on GreenLab Skive, we feel we’ve done the right thing. So now we look forward to starting construction – and production.”

 

“This is a very special day, and a milestone for GreenLab Skive,” smiles the industrial park’s Managing Director Steen Hintze, “We’re thrilled that Danish Marine Protein decided to locate their plant here. Their production is an excellent match for GreenLab Skive: They have a tangible solution that turns a problem into an advantage for our local area – and also, they’re the first commercial enterprise to actually break ground at the site, so this is a big day for all of us.”

Facts about Danish Marine Protein

The new plant will be DMP’s first full-scale production facility, a total investment in the first phase to the tune of DKK 15 m (approximately EUR 2 m). With construction beginning in April, the plant is expected to be ready in 2018, in time for the next starfish harvest season. Besides starfish, DMP also works with other high-quality “blue and green” proteins for the organic animal feeds of the future.

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