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View of the PPCE-VIMAL potato starch production plant currently under construction in Chernihiv, Ukraine. Production is scheduled to start in September 2018.

View of the PPCE-VIMAL potato starch production plant currently under construction in Chernihiv, Ukraine. Production is scheduled to start in September 2018.

Chernihiv, a historic city in the Chernihiv Oblast in the Northern Ukraine is - according to experts - becoming a major potato processing hub.

There are already two starch factories operating in the region, and in September 2018, a third one will be taken into operation.

The new plant is being built by PPCE VIMAL with technical assistance of the Danish-based company SiccaDania and will become one of the most state-of-the-art potato starch manufacturing facilities in Europe.

Mr. S.V. Samonenko, Director of PPCE VIMAL:

Our enterprise has more than twenty years’ experience in producing potato starch. Over these years, we have continuously improved the quality of our products, have formed a civilized potato starch market in Ukraine, and raised the purchase price for potato producers to a level that exceeds the prices all over Europe.”

“In summer 2018, we shall put into operation a new production facility in order to meet the needs of our customers, as well as to implement a deep potato processing project.”

“We are convinced that the future of Ukrainian potato industry is in the deep processing of potatoes.”

“Thus, the launch of the new starch processing plant alone will increase the total revenues of potato producers in Ukraine more than tenfold, and the further ambitions for the production of potato protein and food fibers will allow to deepen the processing of potatoes and obtain products with even greater value-added, both for raw potato producers the participants of the project, as well for the company.”
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An automatic packing line is being installed in the new facility

Mr. E.V. Rebenok, Head of R&D Department of PPCE "Vimal":

VIMAL started its potato processing operations in 1994 with GU-50 hydrocyclones unit made in Russia by GUP ”Korenevskij Eksperimentalnyj Zavod.”

“The equipment was not perfect, but we strove for perfection and our ambition was to position our products as the best in the world. In 2001, when I was a young chemist, I began to work for the company, and realized that our starch is not the best and we will have to go a long way in order to manufacture products that will meet the customers´ requirements.”

“Since we supply our products to food manufacturers, we began to seriously work on microbiology, viscosity, color, ash content, and the temperature of gelatinization - over all the key indicators which are essential for the buyers and which determine whether we can sell our products at a high price or not.”

“At that moment the quality of our starch was formed by a GU-50 hydrocyclones unit. Like similar equipment - GU-200 and GU-500, it was made of carbon steel and was supplied with K-type pumps with a gland packing seal.”

“An attempt to replace the material of the equipment with stainless steel and the outdated pumps with modern ones did increase our productivity, but did not affect the quality issue.”

“Therefore, it was decided to fundamentally change the technological scheme of starch extraction and refining.”

“The peculiarity of the GU-50, GU-200 and GU-500 hydrocyclones is that the extraction of the fibers and starch refining occurs simultaneously. Thus, their main shortcoming is the refining only in 4 cyclone blocks out of 12 (in the latest models in 6 out of 14).”

“In addition, the design of the hydrocyclone unit allows for the uncontrolled multiplication of microorganisms, and the cyclones’ overflow themselves are a foam mixture of potato fibers and juice - a substance that is difficult to dispose of.”

“For comparison, in modern factories, the refining line has 12 to 14 cyclone blocks, and this excludes concentration cyclones, decanters or plane vacuum filters, in which juice separation is also carried out and fibers is being removed from starch suspension. This is not to mention the attention that modern equipment pays to controlling the development of bacteria.”

“The desire to improve the quality of products made us take a risky step - to change the scheme of work of the hydrocyclone unit, which was designed by the manufacturer of the plant. In 2011, a technical solution was developed, then dewatering and extraction sieves as well as concentration cyclones made by Larsson were installed.”

“The purchased equipment installed before the GU-50, and the new flow scheme allowed to threefold increase the number of cyclone blocks involved in refinery process, and which is most important - to radically improve the quality of products and increase the productivity of GU-50 to 150 tons of potatoes per day (i.e., by a factor of three).”

“In 2016, VIMAL, after consideration of the offers of all potato starch processing equipment suppliers, begins construction of a new potato starch factory with the daily throughput of 1440 tons raw potatoes with the support of the Danish company SiccaDania.”

“In the new plant, there are separate hydrocyclone lines for the refining of starch, one for large and another one for small granules, which will not only ensure the top quality starch, but also will allow the fractionation of starch and offer products with a large or small fraction, to the customers who need them, as well as to produce modified starch based on fine granules in the future.”

“Also, at the new plant it is planned to produce pharmaceutical starch and special starch for yeast production.

Blocks of modern hydrocyclones to be installed at the new plant

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Construction of the future potato storage. The pyramids for the storage are manufactured by the concrete products workshop of 'VIMALSPETSBUD' Constructions Company.

Steen Simonsen, Starch Directior of SiccaDania:

The peculiarity of cooperation with SiccaDania is that the company does not just sell the equipment - it, in fact, with limited funding, helps to translate your ideas and your desire for an ideal plant into reality.”

“SiccaDania not only supplies key equipment but also provides technical assistance at all stages, starting from construction and up to facilitation in the in-house manufacturing of washing machines, equipment, conveyors and various nodes, dryers. And most importantly, we help in solving the problem of starch processing waste and effluents.”

“Our idea is to convert the waste and the effluents from the facility into raw materials for the production of products with high value-added (potato protein, liquid organic fertilizers and food fibers). Consider yourself, if you can sell potato starch for $550/t, the advanced processing shall ensure the extra $1,500 per ton of protein, $1,500 per ton of fibers and $55 per ton of liquid fertilizer.”

“The joint experience and cooperation of SiccaDania and VIMAL will allow the plant to be built with the most up-to-date and efficient technological solutions that will produce products with unprecedented quality and profitability.
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This looks like the construction of a typical desanding basin, but a unique technical solutions shall turn it into a highly efficient and economical device for water purification.

Mr. V.L.Lazar, the founder of PPCE “VIMAL”:

With its own engineering base and extensive experience in manufacturing starch processing equipment, we can ourselves manufacture a significant portion of our equipment, thereby significantly saving our budget. In this case, the experience accumulated by SiccaDania cannot be overestimated, since it saves us the time and effort of looking for optimal solutions, and we can manufacture equipment based on the best practices and not waste our time and effort on re-inventing the wheel.”

“After launching starch production in 2018, in 2020, we plan to launch a plant that will recover protein from potato juice, produce dry potato fibers and liquid organic fertilizer.”

“Technical potato protein is a highly liquid protein for use in animal feeds, and nutritional protein is an excellent ingredient for the food industry. Nutritional potato fibers is a healthy product, which is the subject of the ever-increasing demand. Liquid organic fertilizer is concentrated potato juice, which contains all the necessary nutrients in a bioavailable form.”

“When the advanced potato processing facility beside Chernihiv is put into operation, it will give a big boost to the development of whole industries in our region. Engineering - we will be able to share our experience with those who want to produce starch.”

“Agriculture - the farmers will be able to use the new biological fertilizer and receive more profits from potatoes, animal husbandry - since potato pulp is an efficient and cheap feed. We shall offer new "healthy" products - potato protein and food fibers - to the food industry.”

VIMALSPETSBUD Constructions Company - a division of VIMAL - not only manufactures new equipment, but can also breathe new life into the old machines.

Mr. V.L.Lazar provides the summary:

“We consider our priority task to support the incremental development of our company - the development of the engineering workshop, advanced potato processing, as well as further processing of potato starch and the production on its basis of various types of modified starch“.
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