Chicago | Reuters — U.S. grain trader and processor Archer Daniels Midland and French biotech company InnovaFeed announced plans on Thursday to build the world’s largest insect protein plant at Decatur, Illinois.
The announcement comes amid rising global feed grain prices and tightening supplies, and as more companies work toward reducing the carbon footprint of their operations. Insects are seen as a sustainable alternative to fishmeal and other high-protein feeds.
The plant will produce 60,000 tonnes of animal feed protein annually from Hermetia illucens, a highly nutritional type of fly, along with 20,000 tonnes of oils for poultry and swine rations and 400,000 tonnes of fertilizer, the companies said in a release.
According to InnovaFeed, the insect is already endemic in Europe and is not considered to be a pathogenic or invasive species.
Construction of the facility at Decatur, about 230 km southwest of Chicago, is slated to begin next year, pending permits and approvals.
The facility will be built adjacent to ADM’s massive corn processing complex and will use corn byproducts as feed for the insects, as well as waste heat and steam from the corn processing plant. The collaborative scheme will emit 80 per cent less carbon dioxide than a stand-alone facility, the companies said.
“ADM Decatur’s corn-based co-products will be recycled locally to feed insects through infrastructure connected to the site. This production model will also allow InnovaFeed to use 27 MW of residual energy recovered from the ADM process, energy that was not previously recovered,” InnovaFeed said in a statement.
InnovaFeed also on Thursday launched an insect protein production site in Nesle, northern France, currently the world’s largest with a capacity of 15,000 tonnes of insect protein. It will ultimately feed the equivalent of 400,000 tonnes of fish, poultry and pigs.
The companies did not disclose how much they would invest in the Decatur project.
— Reporting for Reuters by Karl Plume in Chicago and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris; includes files from Glacier FarmMedia Network staff.