GEA AG (Düsseldorf, Germany; www.gea.com) has received a contract from Novozymes A/S (Copenhagen, Denmark; www.novozymes.com) for a turnkey fitting of a major new plant to produce plant-based proteins for the plant-based food industry. The high double-digit million-euro order contract is said to be one the largest in GEA’s history. Construction on the new factory in Blair, Nebraska will start later this year, and is expected to be completed towards the end of 2023.
For decades, Novozymes has been developing fermented catalytic (that is, industrially produced) proteins — enzymes — that are the basis for many industrial applications. Only recently, the company announced its intention to invest DKK2 billion ($320 million) in the growth market for functional proteins (advanced protein solutions) for the food industry.
The new plant covers the manufacturing steps from harvesting to separation of proteins. GEA will now construct the process systems, which include membrane filters, mixers, homogenizers, heat exchangers, pasteurizers and ultra-high temperature (UHT) units, cleaning and filling systems, as well as the pump and valve technology. Installation will start mid-2022. The production capacity initially built can easily be expanded to multiply the capacity in the future as demand grows.