North-East based Engineering Project Management company FEG Global has won the WhatIF contract for the concept design and feasibility phase of a new, sustainable factory in Tamale, Africa.

A co-production facility, the site is as innovative as it is sustainable, using a self-sufficient model that co-generates its own energy through the pyrolysis process and use of agri-waste to create Biochar.  As well as the sophisticated energy recovery operations, the site brings further positive environmental impact through acting as a community hub in its local town near Tamale, creating hundreds of jobs for direct employees and support services.

FEG Global Managing Director Chris Williams said, “This was a chance to get involved with a company with a vision to change how things are done, and to look at meaningful energy recovery in a co-producing set-up. On top of this it is a project which helps farmers get out of poverty and provides good quality employment.  We are proud to be involved in a project like this that can make a difference to the future of food production.”

The WhatIF factory will produce various food products through the processing of bamnuts, including milk, milk powder and noodles. The discarded bamnut shells will go directly into the energy-production process of the plant to produce some 39GWh per annum by 2030 and become a entirely self-powering facility.

Key to the awarding of the contract was an understanding of how to design a site that could maintain the varying balance between food production and energy requirements within the daily processes, something that the engineering team at FEG Global were happy to work on with many years of both food production design and heat recovery under their belts.

Chris from WhatIF foods said, “FEG Global stood out for us with their obvious experience in many areas of food production. This was not limited to processes, but their team also showed their expertise in all areas of plant build, including civils, ventilation, waste-to-heat energy and dust control.  They brought the full package and shared our vision for real innovation and changing the future.”

Chris from FEG added, “It was an exciting moment when we found out we had been awarded the contract.  We want to be involved in projects that deliver genuine change and our experience covering both food factories and process design meant we could give solutions that others couldn’t.”

Work has already commenced on the design phase of the project and FEG are confident of continuing the partnership throughout the project.