The UK is set to get its first large-scale rapeseed processing plant since the 1980s as commodity trading and supply chain company RCMA Group announced the construction of a new facility on 6 June.
To be located in Atherstone-on-Stour, near the city of Stratford-upon-Avon in central England, the £25M (US$32.3M) facility with an annual seed crush capacity of 100,000 tonnes was scheduled to come online in autumn 2017, RCMA said in a statement.
The plant would produce 40,000 tonnes of refined edible rapeseed oil and 60,000 tonnes of rape cake for the animal feed sector annually from UK-grown rapeseed.
RCMA Group chair Doug King called the plant a “milestone in UK oilseed processing” and said the company had “commissioned a highly sustainable approach to processing”.
The facility design incorporated a biomass-fuelled combined heat and power (CHP) plant, which would enable the plant to generate its own internal energy requirements from forestry waste and become “one of the most energy and carbon efficient producers in the UK,” the company said.
Additionally, the facility will be co-located alongside an established grain store, which RCMA said would reduce the “food miles” associated with transporting the oilseed for processing and finished products to consumers.
The company had assembled a team of experts to support the new enterprise and was also working with the Camgrain farmers’ cooperative and the operator of the co-located grain store.
According to RCMA, rapeseed oil consumption in the UK was growing, fuelled by increasingly health-conscious consumers, and there was a demand from UK buyers for a “fully traceable supply chain” in edible oils.