An illustration of the planned rendering plant in Lonnavale.

Huon to build £10m rendering plant for processing waste


Australian salmonid farmer Huon has announced plans for an A$20 million (£10m) rendering facility at its site in Lonnavale in the Huon Valley in southeast Tasmania.

The plant will recycle salmon processing waste to produce by-products such as high-quality fish meal and fish oil, improving Huon's management of waste as well as alleviating pressure on the limited composting facilities in Tasmania.

"Creating 10 new full-time jobs in regional Tasmania and 80 more full-time jobs during construction, Huon Aquaculture is committed to contributing to regional communities and local economies," the company said in a social media post. 

Huon was bought by Brazilian meat processing giant JBS for A$425 million in 2021. It produced 38,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon and ocean trout last year.

Sludge into compost

The rendering plant increases Huon's re-use of waste products. Sludge from its Whale Point post-smolt facility has been used since 2020 by fruit grower Cherries Tasmania to make a compost for its trees.

Cherry farmer Nic Hansen told Huon's in-house magazine, The Huon Story, that the sludge is ideal for feeding fungi in soil, tipping the balance into a fungal domination compost that is ideal for horticulture.

This healthier soil makes healthier trees that produce sweeter, higher quality fruit, said Hansen, who is planning to increase the 400 tonnes of sludge he takes from Whale Point every year.