We acquired a specially manufactured chemical scrubber. This new chemical scrubber will be installed and commissioned during the first half of this year.

As of the 17th of May 2017 the new scrubber and stack has been placed in position.  The installation of the scrubber, stack and auxiliary equipment will be be completed in the following few weeks.  The new scrubber project is on track to be commissioned by the end of June 2017.

The new chemical scrubber was successfully commissioned on the 7th of July 2017. The factory is excited to have the specially manufactured scrubber up and running.


The Waste Heat Evaporators were fully automated. This was done to improve the plant production rate and helped to reduce the amount of odour the facility would otherwise produce. In 2016 the plant installed a high capacity decanter which optimised phase separation of the solids and the liquid phases. The plant will be upgrading the chemical scrubber in 2017.


New oil-water separators were installed to improve the quality of the product. Both Steam Driers were refurbished, improving the rate of drying of the fish meal. The plant also decommissioned the use of the Low-Temperature Dryer at the end of 2015 and instead now uses indirect steam drying as the drying technology.

2013 – 2014

Installation of two new jet fired burners to the cost of R3 million. This project included the upgrade to the ring main oil supply lines and will optimise energy and fuel usage, as well as improve incineration.


Installation of two additional decanters at a cost of R2,8 million.


Installation of a new Dupps cooker to the value of R3,2 million.

Installation of a higher capacity sea water scrubber and conversion of older scrubber into a second chemical scrubbing unit.


At the end of 2009, a complete re-layout of the plant was done at a cost of R12 million. The fish storage area was enclosed, allowing fish to be stored at 10 °C before processing. All raw fish could now be conveyed through pumps and closed pipelines rather than conventional screw conveyor systems. New modern European-type dewatering systems, as well as a new indirect fish cooker, were installed and cooked fish is now conveyed in closed pipelines. The roof of the Hout Bay Fishmeal Factory building was completely replaced. Redundant, less efficient equipment was removed and the plant was made more energy efficient to reduce CO2 emissions in line with the strategy to reduce its carbon footprint.


A new fish oil separator was installed at a cost of R3,8 million. In addition, the breakdown history was analysed. This resulted in the installation of a standby offloading system (R0,6 million) to act as an alternative in case of a breakdown. Roughly R4 million was spent on maintenance.


In 2006, the second and third installation stages of the waste heat evaporator plant took place at a cost of R4,47 million, making the plant considerably more energy efficient and further reducing emissions. Normal maintenance, at a cost of roughly R4 million, was also done during the year.

2003 – 2005

From 2003 to 2005, various pieces of equipment were installed to improve processing efficiencies and plant reliability, including a spare blower (R3,27 million), separator (R2,25 million) and larger press (R1,55 million). These improvements resulted in a decrease in downtime and therefore less processing of old fish.


At the end of the year, a workshop was held with a considerable number of Hout Bay’s leading personalities and representatives to inform them of the plans for upgrading the machinery and plant in Hout Bay. A waste heat evaporator plant and a low-temperature drier were installed at a cost of R9,5 million, which further reduced odorous emissions and especially visible vapour. During the installation of the low-temperature drier, the tank used for the air collection from the cooling drum was converted into a condenser for the low-temperature drier. This resulted in the air from the cooling drum also being routed and treated in the odour abatement plant. These changes were not required under any existing regulations at the time, but it was rather a proactive step to improve fishmeal quality for the international market which resulted in reduced emissions. At the end of this major upgrade (called Enviro 100) a newsletter was sent out informing the community that phase two of the upgrade was completed.


The heavy furnace oil used in the boilers was substituted with low-sulphur furnace oil which resulted in a decrease in sulphurous emissions from the boilers. In May of that year, SA Sea Products launched a health study conducted by the CSIR, involving 80 volunteers. The CSIR’s final report – “An Assessment of Community Exposure and Potential Health Effects of Emissions from the SA Sea Products in Hout Bay” – was released on 10 September. The results of this survey confirmed that the processing of fishmeal and its associated activities do not constitute an environmental health risk.


Fishmeal Plant Management commissioned an air-monitoring and health risk assessment by the CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research).

Construction on an odour control plant, costing R2,5 million, took place and this resulted in a substantial reduction in detectable odour and other emissions. This equipment is still being used today and is regularly checked by internal and external experts for operating efficiencies.


The two direct flame driers were replaced with three steam driers and one indirect flue gas drier, with the result that vaporous emissions and odours from the plant reduced considerably.


New boilers that burnt furnace oil were introduced and which was a significant improvement from the original coal-fired boilers.


The fishmeal plant initially started in 1958 as the Da Gama Fishmeal Factory, with coal-fired boilers and direct drying of fishmeal. This resulted in plenty of coal dust and vaporous emissions. The plant has seen extensive research, upgrades, maintenance and equipment replacement during the following decades, which have resulted in improvements in all areas of the business.