ADM, InnovaFeed to build world's biggest insect protein plant in Illinois

The Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. grain trader and processor Archer Daniels Midland Co ADM.N and French biotech company InnovaFeed announced plans on Thursday to build the world's largest insect protein plant in Decatur, Illinois.

The announcement comes amid rising global feed grain prices and tightening supplies, and as more companies work toward reducing the carbon footprint of their operations. Insects are seen as a sustainable alternative to fishmeal and other high-protein feeds.

The plant will produce 60,000 tonnes of animal feed protein annually from Hermetia Illucens, a highly nutritional type of fly, along with 20,000 tonnes of oils for poultry and swine rations and 400,000 tonnes of fertilizer, the companies said in a release.

Construction of the facility is slated to begin next year, pending permits and approvals.

The facility will be built adjacent to ADM’s massive corn processing complex and will utilize corn byproducts as feed for the insects, as well as waste heat and steam from the corn processing plant. The collaborative scheme will emit 80% less carbon dioxide than a standalone facility, the companies said.

“ADM Decatur’s corn-based co-products will be recycled locally to feed insects through infrastructure connected to the site. This production model will also allow InnovaFeed to use 27MW of residual energy recovered from the ADM process, energy that was not previously recovered,” InnovaFeed said in a statement.

InnovaFeed also on Thursday launched an insect protein production site in Nesle, northern France, currently the world’s largest with a capacity of 15,000 tonnes of insect protein. It will ultimately feed the equivalent of 400,000 tonnes of fish, poultry and pigs.

The companies did not disclose how much they would invest in the Decatur project.

Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris; Editing by Aurora Ellis