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Undersecretary Roman Zelaya Ríos at the opening ceremony (Photo: courtesy of Subpesca)

Rymar inaugurates 'Crustanic' industrial plant that uses shrimp and shrimp waste

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 05:00 (GMT + 9)


Chitosan is produced from the shell of both crustaceans, a highly demanded compound that is used, for example, to control fungus pests in agriculture.

Rymar is a company dedicated to the processing and distribution of seafood. 90% of its production corresponds to shrimp and prawns, which generate a large amount of waste.

According to Sebastián Rubio, a partner of this company, they produce about 3,200 tons of this waste per year, so they dared to innovate and take advantage of these by-products.

"The shell for us is an important issue. It is 85% of all our production and generated, for example, landfill costs, percolates and contamination and we always had the idea of ​​taking advantage of this element. 3 years ago we started with the project and today is reality. This is the future that has us very motivated, "said Rubio.

In this way, the company Crustanic - belonging to Rymar - was born in the commune of Coquimbo, the first to follow the concept of Circular Economy in the entire northern part of the country, which extracts chitosan, a polymer present in the waste of these products marine, and that it is in high demand in the agricultural industry as a fungicide.

The circular economy model "proposes a change in the linear production, business and consumption systems incorporating eco-design, reuse, recycling and recovery", as defined by the Ministry of the Environment.

Photo: courtesy Subpesca

The Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Román Zelaya, stressed that "this production has international certification and shows a very important effort in the care and conservation of resources and the environment. It is an initiative that must be supported, above all, because it was born from the regions ".

The plant is high-tech and had a cost of 2 million dollars (private investment). To this is associated the hiring of new labor: a contribution to dynamism in the regional fishing economic sector.

In this sense, the Mayor of Coquimbo, Pablo Herman, said that "economic reactivation is fundamental at this time, with all the necessary safeguards due to the situation of the pandemic. There is a sustainable future here thanks to the circular economy that is very good. for development and also for productive alliances between the public and private sectors, as President Sebastián Piñera asks us ".

Photo: courtesy Subpesca

This facility was born thanks to the MásMar Program and had a co-financing of 40 million pesos, through the Support Program for Productive Investment for Reactivation (IPRO) of CORFO, financed by the Regional Government of Coquimbo.

Cristian Rondanelli, Vice President of the Productive Development Commission of the Regional Council, stressed that "with these projects we generate innovation, we turn a waste into a product of high added value to work with the local agribusiness and why not think about extending the work to World Market".

For his part, the Regional Director of CORFO, Gregorio Rodríguez, stated that "this plant is in charge of environmental sustainability. The linear economy models are exhausted and today any process must consider what will happen to the discards and traces of carbon".

For the president of Másmar, Osciel Velásquez, "the sea has given us many signals and today we have to listen to them. Taking advantage and sustaining resources is vital to continue advancing with the fishing work in a healthy way. This plant is a very big step to reaffirm the commitment of seafarers to take care of our resources, through innovation, research and joint work ".

While the Mayor of Coquimbo, Marcelo Pereira, pointed out that "it is a pride that this arises from this commune and I call for other companies to follow this path, because it is very necessary to care for the environment and to create jobs. ".

Annually, it is estimated that 2,000,000 tons of shrimp and prawn waste are used for the production of chitosan, which translates into 1,200,000 liters per year of this derivative. So this new plant will increase the yield of this raw material from 15% to 90%.

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