Food and Beverage Business

Libra Seafoods’ cold store project completed by FEG Global

Libra Seafoods' cold store project completed by FEG Global chilled foods, cold store, FEG Global, Frozen, Libra Seafoods, meat, poultry & seafood, supply chain, Technology & Automation Food and Beverage Business

FEG, an engineering consultancy firm, designed and installed the new “state-of-the-art”​ cold store for the Jarrow-based prawn processing business earlier this year, with the expansion providing Libra Seafoods with increased capacity as it seeks to grow.

The family-owned business has put significant investment into its Tyne and Wear facilities. The changing competitive landscape and an internal focus on innovation prompted the decision to increase production capabilities. Plans were initially put in place in 2020, with proposals including the creation of a new product development (NPD) team and the expansion of its production and storage facilities at a nearby vacant site.

FEG began work on the new cold store late last year, designed to increase on-site storage capacity, while enabling the existing site to add to its cooking and processing lines.

“Our team managed the design planning, installation and commissioning of the turnkey project, ensuring that health and safety were at the forefront of our priorities. We delivered on KPIs for the client. We had regular meetings and progress updates with the Libra Seafoods team to ensure everyone was kept in the loop and that the project was delivered to time and on budget,” explained Chris Williams, FEG managing director.

The 28 metre by 25 metre cold store, which is almost seven metres high, features four refrigeration units with chiller, condenser, and evaporator units. The facility incorporates automated mobile racking systems that allow for increased storage through their ability to create flexible access points.

The entrance and exit points have been built with airlock features to block the entry of warm air, along with double shuttering and heated voids to stop any humidity that could freeze.

Additionally, the site enables four times the capacity of the previous factory space while using the same amount of energy. Smart lighting and automated systems help achieve this, while the underfloor system also features heating mats and insulation to ensure that the ground underneath the cold store does not freeze and cause concrete deterioration.

The team from FEG included engineers across structural and civil engineering, ECI engineering, mechanical engineering, and process engineering.

Andrew Muat, purchasing director at Libra Seafoods, said that the firm felt in “safe hands” with FEG throughout the project. “Even if issues did arise, as they always do, the FEG team took on responsibility and came to us with the solution rather than the problem. We really felt the passion for their work and that they were on our side – it was nice to work with a contractor that genuinely cares. Delivered on time and to budget, the work by FEG Global has opened doors for us and paved the way for our next phase of growth.”

Meanwhile, operations director Mike Muat added: “We’re excited for the new projects that are coming our way and we would certainly look forward to entrusting FEG with future works.”

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