People, Places, and...

Darling to Build New Facility in Central Texas, Suffers Fire in the Netherlands

After months of negotiations involving the City of Grapeland, Texas, and the Grapeland Economic Development Corporation, Darling Ingredients Inc. announced its plan to build a poultry conversion facility in Grapeland. The plant will support a regional poultry processing operation currently under development with the finished products to include fats and proteins for pet food and renewable fuel, according to Melissa Gaither, vice president of Investor Relations and Global Communications at Darling.

The company is purchasing land that totals about 225 acres. Construction will begin later this year and the plant is expected to be operational in early 2019.

“This is going to be a real benefit for the community,” said Grapeland Mayor Balis Dailey. “The first benefit is we are annexing them into the city which will help increase our tax base. The city will be in control of all the issues regarding permitting – in line with the state – as opposed to being outside the city limits in the county where there are no restrictions.” The new facility is expected to bring at least 50 jobs to the area once it is up and running.

In mid-September, a “fire incident” caused a temporary work stoppage at Darling Ingredients’ Rendac production plant in Son, the Netherlands. Part of the production process at the facility was expected to be non-operational for about two to three weeks with substantially all tonnage diverted to other company-owned assets. There were no injuries and the fire was contained to only the Rendac operation at the Son location. In the long term, Darling expects to largely recover its losses from property and business interruption insurance. However, the company expects a negative impact to its third quarter 2017 earnings of up to $4.5 million.

Dupps Receives Healthiest Employer Award

The Dayton Business Journal has recognized The Dupps Company with its Healthiest Employers Award for 2017 – the sixth consecutive year Dupps has achieved the honor. The awards program acknowledges employers that proactively shape the health of their employees. The companies taking part have made a commitment to impact the health of their workplace and, in turn, their bottom line. The Dayton Business Journal reviewed nominations and selected 16 of the most outstanding health and wellness programs created and implemented by local companies for this prestigious award.

“With a continuous emphasis on wellness, many of our employees have made a change to healthier living,” said Jim Vose, human resources director at Dupps. “The greatest satisfaction I receive is when I hear testimonials from people on how their lifestyle changes to healthier living have positively impacted them and their families.”
Among the company’s wellness initiatives is “Commit 2B Fit,” a comprehensive program of healthy activities, on-site health screenings, in-house doctor’s care, wellness counseling, and financial incentives for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Clean Water Awards given to Tyson and Keystone

The U.S. Poultry and Egg Association presented the 2017 Clean Water Award to Tyson Foods River Valley Animal Foods in Scranton, Arkansas, and Keystone Foods in Gadsden, Alabama. The award is given annually to poultry facilities that excel in their efforts at wastewater treatment and water reuse.

Tyson Foods River Valley Animal Foods, the winner in the full treatment category, produces 2,000 tons of animal feeds from rendered poultry protein and fat per day at their facility in Scranton. The company treats approximately 750,000 gallons of wastewater daily, of which 220,000 gallons of treated wastewater is reused on site for numerous purposes including cleaning trailers and tankers after raw product has been removed.

Keystone Foods’ further processing facility in Gadsden was chosen as the winner in the pretreatment category. In the last few years, the plant has been able to reduce water consumption by more than 200,000 gallons per day due to changes made in refining operating procedures and engineering controls. This included the installation of a central vacuum system to transfer by-products and switching to a steam pasteurization process to sanitize the chillers and freezers.

American Proteins in Cumming, Georgia, and Wayne Farms in Pendergrass, Georgia, received honorable mentions in the full treatment category. Pilgrim’s Guntersville, Alabama, facility received honorable mention in the pre-treatment category.

Idaho Packing and Rendering Plant Up and Running

CS Beef Packers began operations at a new 370,000-square-foot plant in Kuna, Idaho, earlier this summer. The newest meat packing facility in the country was created through a joint venture between two family-owned businesses: Caviness Beef Packers and the J.R. Simplot Company.

Located about 20 miles south of Boise, the facility will harvest cull cows and bulls from dairy farms and cattle ranches throughout the intermountain west. There are an estimated 600,000 dairy cows and more than 600,000 beef cows in the region. When operating at full capacity, expected in early 2018, CS Beef Packers will process 1,700 head per day and employ 700 individuals. Only United States Department of Agriculture-inspected beef will be processed at the facility.

The plant also includes hide and rendering processing, using new Dupps cookers and prebreakers, Duske blood drying equipment, and top-of-the-line odor control technology. The new facility is modeled after Caviness Beef’s rendering plant in Hereford, Texas, built about eight years ago, said Terry Caviness, chief operating officer at Caviness Beef.

The rendering plant will process 700,000 pounds of by-products per day at full capacity. Finished products will include meat and bone meal, bleachable fancy tallow, and blood meal destined for diverse markets.

Flottweg Breaks Ground on Expansion

Flottweg, a leading manufacturer of centrifuges, belt presses, and separators for solid-liquid separation, is building a 1,700-square-foot laboratory and testing area expansion in Independence, Kentucky. Once construction is complete, the addition will include an expanded laboratory, upgraded testing equipment, and a high-speed balancing bunker.

The laboratory expansion will include the latest instrumentation for testing separation feasibility on customer samples. Upon completion of these feasibility tests in the new laboratory, Flottweg will continue to offer on-site trials to demonstrate lab results, allowing customers to verify that machines will perform as promised.

Flottweg is also adding a new high-speed balance bunker next to its existing balancing facilities to allow for separate machine part testing at maximum operating speeds. Decanter bowls and scrolls can be balanced up to 5,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) and separator bowls up to 10,000 rpm.

VRM Labs Granted Funds for Wastewater Recovery Product

VRM Labs has received a $600,000 two-year grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Small Business Administration’s Innovative Research Program to study and commercialize their new flocculant for wastewater recovery.

Work on the commercialization of the flocculant product is in phase II and will be done in cooperation with several National Renderers Association members, of which some have already assisted VRM Labs by offering their facilities, wastewater recovery systems, and labs. Over the next two years, work will be done on the product, process, and scale-up of manufacturing. The company received a small grant last year for the phase I project to determine the feasibility of the product.

VRM Labs was formed in 2013 when two scientists from Clemson University teamed up with a longtime industry specialist to attempt to bring their research products to market. Drs. Alexey Vertegel and Vladimir Reukov, two biomedical engineers on the faculty at Clemson, were funded by the Fats and Protein Research Foundation through the Animal Co-Products Research and Education Center at Clemson. Their mission was to develop a natural but effective antioxidant for use in rendered products and pet food. They were successful in their research and development efforts that involved the use of animal blood, a by-product of the harvest process.

When the scientists decided to begin the market development process, they enlisted Dr. David Meisinger, who has had extensive experience with startups, and formed VRM Labs. The feed antioxidant is working its way through the approval process at the Food and Drug Administration and is undergoing more fine-tuning in the research and development department.

October 2017 RENDER | back