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Cargill puts Balsfjord on the environmental map

Cargill puts Balsfjord on the environmental map

A new electric feed dryer machine will cut energy consumption drastically and make Cargill’s factory at Bergneset in Balsfjord, Norway the world’s first zero-emission feed factory

– We will construct an energy efficient, electric dryer in our factory at Bergneset. As far as I know, we’re the first in the world to remove all CO2 emissions from fish feed production. This is all in line with Cargill’s environmental protection measures and a large step into the green future for both the factory and Balsfjord. We are very pleased that Cargill wants to concentrate efforts on developing the factory, and it gives us the opportunity to put Balsfjord firmly on the environmental map, says Plant Manager Jan-Vidar Olsen.


Cuts 3000 tonnes CO2
Until now, the feed dryer at Bergneset has run on LPG. By switching from fossil fuel to electric power the factory cuts CO2 emissions by 3000 tonnes, reducing energy consumption by more than 20 %. Enova provides funding for the project as the technology for heat integration through high temperature heat pumps is new and innovative and will potentially establish new best practice for energy efficient drying of salmon feed.

– This investment does not yield increased capacity. The drivers are energy optimalization and sustainability. And we obtain more knowledge and get experience with electrification and heat pumps that will be put to good use in other Cargill factories. We also hope to motivate other technology suppliers to develop energy efficient technology within feed production and to contribute to meeting the national goal of reducing CO2 emissions, says Olsen.


Creates pride
Towards the summer, work will be carried out to build premises where the heat pump and support systems will be installed. The heat pumps and auxiliary equipment will be placed in a new 1000 cubic metre building, delivered by Element Nor at Storsteinnes. The delivery includes a new ground floor warehouse and heat pumps at the first floor.

The equipment installation is planned for October/November, with operations starting in the new year 2022. Olsen says the factory staff appreciate greatly that Cargill spends time and resources on innovative and sustainable projects.

– Us taking part in innovative projects creates competence development at the factory. Which in its turn creates pride among us who work here, he says.


Attractive workplace
The knowledge and experience these projects yield, is also valuable to the collaboration between the Bergneset factory and local educational institutions.

– We already have close contact with upper secondary schools and will undoubtedly be able to contribute with our competence to the county’s training programmes. The county already make use of us in other connections, and as a spearhead within the industry, we can actively contribute with future training of technical personnel and within process engineering. We wish to be an attractive workplace and we notice that we’re attracting capable labour because we are in front within energy and technology development.   


Electric truck park
The new, electric dryer machine is one of many environmental protection measures the factory at Bergneset is working on to meet the zero emissions goal. The truck park is also in the process of becoming electric.

– We have started replacing the trucks, and to begin with, we have acquired four electric trucks to gain experience. We need to test them for a while before we move on, but our goal is that the entire truck park will eventually be electric, says Nilsen.



  • The new dryer is delivered by Geelen Counterflow in the Netherlands, a leading manufacturer of eco-friendly solutions.
  • The dryer will utilize new and innovative technology for heat integration through hight temperature heat pumps that generate a considerably more energy efficient process.
  • It is the first time this technology is put to use in the feed industry.
  • Cargill has also had technology delivered from Danish Process Innovation and Norsk Energi.
  • Enova supports the project with NOK 33 million.
  • The energy net result is estimated to a 15 000 000 kWh annual saving.
  • The climate net result is estimated at a 3 030 000 kg CO2-ekv/year.
  • The factory at Bergneset is a cornerstone company in Balsfjord municipality that mainly employs local labour from Balsfjord and neighbouring municipalities. The factory has 54 permanent employees and more than 70 workers during the high season.

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