Norway’s Pharma Marine chooses GEA as partner for their new edible oil refining line

In line with its “Nature knows no waste” philosophy, Omega-3 producer Pharma Marine is expanding its fish oil production in Søvik on Norway’s west coast. Pharma Marine has chosen GEA as partner for engineering and installing a new process line for refining its fish oils used in the food, pharma and cosmetics industries. The delivery and commissioning of the complete refining line is scheduled for mid-2022.

Pharma Marine produces premium quality omega-3 products based on sustainable marine ingredients. Their modern technology and proprietary in-house enzymatic processes, including purification and distillation, allow them to use marine by-products with valuable nutrient and lipid content. In addition to Pharma Marine’s traditional bulk business, they also provide ready-to-use liquid products. The latest addition to their product portfolio is a variety of healthy vegetable oils to make omega-3 conveniently available for everyone.

For Pharma Marine’s fish oil refining business, GEA will build and commission a customized 2-stage neutralization process line. The 2-stage method is suitable for neutralizing either pre-degummed edible oils or oils with a low phosphatide content, as is the case with fish oil. Its free fatty acids (FFA) are first saponified with caustic soda, after which the sodium soap is separated. Neutralization processes mitigate the FFA extremely reliably – the method of choice for fish oils, which tend to contain higher levels of FFA.

The customized process line for Pharma Marine includes special features which allow for high flexibility and easy installation. The use of stainless steel for all product-contacting parts meets the highest sanitary standards, thus ensuring product safety. Because Pharma Marine intends to process different types of fish oil, GEA has included an acid treatment in the plant; this allows Pharma Marine utmost flexibility with respect to the process setup and retention times. In addition, GEA is designing the whole process line installed on skids, which means almost everything will be delivered pre-installed and pre-tested. This will not only reduce on-site commissioning times, but also allow flexibility in terms of location.

The skids will contain two refining separators as well as mixers, pumps, small tanks for solids and heavy phase, as well as heat exchangers. Both separators feature the GEA Finetuner, which allows customers to adapt the separator to varying compositions during operation so that yields are maximized and oil quality always meets specifications.


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