Capella Baltica, a Spanish cosmetics and food industry supplier, has increased the amount of its investment at Klaipėda Free Economic Zone from 10 to 13M EUR and plans to open its protein factory in late 2019.
Klaipėda FEZ
© Bendrovės archyvas

Capella initially announced a 10M EUR investment into a 2500 sq. m plant-based powder and oil extract production plant, as well as a laboratory. However, the company decided to change its raw materials and modify its manufacturing processes in the past year due to changing circumstances in the market. For this reason, the launch of Capella's factory is now scheduled for late 2019, yet the amount of investment has been increased by 3M EUR as new equipment will be needed for animal-based product preparation and post-processing treatment.

Yevgeny Strazding, the CEO of Capella, explained that it has been a productive year at Klaipėda FEZ, with all the technical and design documentation for the factory being ready and the start of the construction of the facility scheduled for March.

"Capella Baltica is very happy with the investment environment. The delays in the construction of the plant happened due to our changes in raw materials used, which also resulted in changes in the production processes and technologies. With that said, once the facility is operational, we are planning to conduct some additional R&D on plant-based raw materials. We believe that there is significant interest in products from plant-based raw materials and this is an area which we do not want to neglect. Whether Capella Balitica will use Klaipėda facility to manufacture plant-based products will depend on market conditions and results of the R&D," said Mr Strazding.

The company plans to hire around 40 engineers, biochemists and other specialists. It highly regards Klaipėda's academic community, as well as its blue economy strategy, crafted by the city municipality last year. Capella already had a few initial interviews for some technical roles but a broader talent hiring process will start in the next few months.

The company has already placed orders for some smaller auxiliary equipment that has long manufacturing periods and will be selecting a construction company in February. Capella's production process will remain almost waste-free with animal-based protein being sold to food processing companies and cosmetics companies. Capella's secondary products — animal-based oils and fats — will be sold to biofuel food manufacturers.

Capella's manufacturing process is a closed cycle process and is virtually waste-free. The only waste that will be produced is water, which is removed from the raw materials. Due to the process' cyclical nature, all the foul smells will remain contained within the process and particles responsible for the smell will be removed along with the fat and stored in airtight vessels.

Capella is embracing the extraction technologies based on DME (dimethyl ether) that have received worldwide recognition. The extraction technology developed by Akzo Nobel N.V. to obtain protein from animal skins was honoured with the 2012 Responsible Care Award from the European Chemical Industry Council for Food Production.

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