Norvite has invested more than £600,000 in a new plant for crushing oilseeds at South Blackbog, Oldmeldrum in Aberdeenshire. The new plant, the Norvite Expeller Oil Seeds (NEOS) plant, will cold press locally sourced oilseed rape to produce a high quality animal feed protein. This protein rich meal, Neopro, will be blended into Norvite feed products and the cold pressed rapeseed oil will also be marketed as an energy source for animal feeds in the form of Neoflo.

The state-of-the-art plant, built and fitted out by local contractors, is the largest of its kind in Britain and became fully operational on June 1.

Initially it will crush 4000 tonnes (t) of oilseed rape annually, which will yield approximately 2600t of protein rich meal and 1400t of oil. There is, however, capacity in the system to treble this amount.

Edward Smith, managing director of Norvite, said “We are really excited about this new venture as it is good news for the local agricultural industry; both for the people who feed animals, and those that grow crops. It will provide an outlet for oilseed rape which previously didn’t exist, potentially we could process up to 30% of the crop grown in the north-east.”

The North East of Scotland produces approximately 40- 45,000t of oilseed rape annually and South Blackbog lies in the heart of this oilseed rape producing area, ideally positioning it to utilise the crop with minimal environmental impact. At present the entire crop is shipped by boat from north-east ports for processing, in either Kent or Rotterdam and Hamburg on the continent.

The site of the new NEOS plant, adjoining Norvite’s feed blending operation at South Blackbog means that the new venture perfectly complements the existing business. Mr Smith said, “Producing feed ingredients in exactly the same premises as they will be used is a great fit from a business point of view. It is cost effective and has a low carbon footprint.”

He added, “Here in the North-east we have a tradition of producing quality livestock and we will be able to offer these livestock producers a local supply of top quality animal protein with a known, local provenance.”

Neoflo, the extra virgin cold pressed rapeseed oil, has a large potential market as an energy source in monogastric feeds as almost 2% of all the pig and poultry feed in Scotland is liquid vegetable oil. “At present this is either soya or palm oil, imported from South America with all the inherent haulage and environmental costs this entails.” Mr Smith said.

Neopro, the protein rich meal, will be blended on site into a selection of standard Beef and Sheep Prime Blends and into Dairy Blends at Norvite’s Low Carston Blending Plant in Ayrshire. To ensure consistency of products Norvite operates a policy of fixed formulations, however, the change from winter to summer rations has provided an opportunity to formulate Neopro into these Blends.

The Protein Concentrates range which Norvite produce will feature this protein rich meal. Neopro will also be sold for on farm mixing, mainly in the dairy and pig sectors. In the north of Scotland there is a large concentration of pig farmers, the vast majority of whom home mix their feed, often using one of the high tech mobile mill and mix machines of which Norvite have two.

Many producers have already expressed an interest in using the new products and Norvite’s team of specialist nutritionists and feed advisers will be available to assist producers formulate bespoke rations which incorporate Neoflo and Neopro as high quality energy and protein sources.

The building of the NEOS plant is part of Norvite’s ongoing programme of investment and innovation.

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