The most innovative French fries factory in Europe is located in West Flanders, Belgium, which isn’t really surprising! Our Hyline experts were asked to build 25 km of clean stainless-steel piping enabling the Aviko plant in Poperinge to produce 175,000 metric tons of French fries per year (fresh and frozen) and over 11,000 tons of potato flakes.
Aviko's industrial process includes all processing steps, from the reception of potatoes to the storage of French fries and flakes: sorting, washing, peeling, slicing, pre-frying, freeze-drying, in-line freezing, packaging and storage on pallets in a monumental 42 m-high cold storage facility. The plant has overall storage capacity of 52,000 pallets and the line can produce up to 25 metric tons per hour.
"The Aviko plant in Poperinge is equipped with gas co-generators and a powerful vapour and odour extraction system with integrated odour control. The various vapours are collected in the fryer and returned to the co-generators. This upward spiral is part of Aviko's zero waste approach," said Hyline Belgium CEO Jürgen Vande Velde.
The factory is fully automated and aims for a very low carbon approach. It has 2,500 photovoltaic solar panels on its roof and its own water treatment plant, which purifies and partly recycles the water used for washing raw materials, transport and cleaning. Potato waste is recycled into animal feed.
Aviko is also sourcing from local farmers and recruiting employees from the region, so as to reduce the environmental impact of transport. In addition, the company plans to install charging stations for bicycles and cars. Last but not least, it is close to the ports of Zeebrugge and Ostend, which is a real boon for exports.
"The stainless-steel pipe network we installed in the factory is used to transport utilities, process fluids such as cooking oil, water, gases and cleaning agents. This 25 km network is the hub of the industrial process. It is equipped with pumps, valves and heat exchangers," explained Jürgen Vande Velde..
Aviko praised the precision work carried out by our welders on the site, and is keen to renew its co-operation with Hyline.