A genuine part of the customer’s production process
Finnamyl Oy is a starch-potato farming and processing company based in Kokemäki, western Finland. Roughly 73,000 tonnes of potato cell sap are produced annually as a by-product of the company’s starch production operations.
Partnership between Adven and Finnamyl stemmed from a need to develop further-processing opportunities and new uses for the cell sap that remains after starch separation. Previously, the residual fruit juice was used as it is for fertilizer purposes. Nowadays, the residual fruit juice is concentrated at Adven’s evaporation plant, and the resulting nutrients are reused for crops the next spring.
Adven’s evaporation plant is directly linked to Finnamyl’s own production process. Adven was responsible for building the plant and now also runs and maintains it. With Adven’s model, evaporation is provided as a service.
“Adven represents just the kind of forerunner that we were looking for,” says Finnamyl’s Production Manager Tauno Henttinen.
Very positive experiences gained from collaboration
Finnamyl Oy began paying close attention to what Denmark and Sweden are doing, as efforts there have already focussed on boosting potato farming and the related production process. The company did not have the in-house expertise required to address this particular need, but they found a partner in Adven.
“We are very pleased that we can purchase the concentration process as a service from Adven. This has helped us to avoid investing large sums ourselves in methods and staff. It is also important to us to have the top professionals in their field realise this service for us. At the same time, our competence is gradually growing along with the collaboration,” says Henttinen.
Collaboration and method already bearing fruit
Finnamyl’s evaporation plant went on stream in autumn 2016. With Adven's evaporation solution the amount of nitrogen, which ends up to the fields, has decreased about 60%.
“We are seeing a positive impact on many levels: Whereas before we were transporting 70,000 cubic metres of fertilizer juice to the fields of our contractual farmers, the amount to be spread has now dropped to less than a tenth of that amount – to six thousand cubic metres,” Henttinen stresses.
The same fertilizer potency can be achieved with a smaller amount of fertilizer, which naturally helps reduce logistical costs, emissions, transport, and odour problems. The previous cell sap fertilizer emitted quite a strong odour during the spreading phase, a problem that no longer exists with the concentrated product.
Another major benefit is that the fertilizer can be spread on the fields at just the right time – in spring, right before growing season. As the old type of cell sap fertilizer could not be stored, it had to be spread on the fields immediately in the autumn, while production was in progress.
The new production process and renewed product have also resulted in a new way of thinking. The cell sap, which used to be seen as no more than a by-product of production and was given to farmers at no cost, is now a considerably more valuable product – that can even be invoiced.
Future plans and opportunities
With the future looking bright in terms of the current production process, Finnamyl is already looking into what other products or raw materials the process could be applied to. Finnamyl’s production plant is currently in operation for three months of the year, and with the rise of new raw materials, the utilisation rate could conceivably be extended – possibly even to year-round production at some point.
“The best thing about this is that the change can be made and production can be ramped up with the infrastructure we already have in place, so new investments might not even be necessary,” reckons Henttinen.
Along with the rising trend in vegetarian food, plant proteins are in high demand both in Finland and globally, and backed by Adven, this opens the door to many new opportunities for Finnamyl’s business.