Marel and Pronaca partner to ensure the best water treatment solutions

Together, Marel and Pronaca jointly develop customized wastewater treatment projects designed according to each plant's needs

Pronaca Water Treatment Sample

Ecuador food processor Pronaca has chosen Marel as its technological partner to develop customized wastewater treatment solutions.

Efficient water management is a priority for Pronaca due to its culture and commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. Industry leaders are concerned with meeting local effluent discharge regulations and aiming to achieve ambitious goals, such as returning high-quality water to the environment, which, even with the appropriate complementary treatments, can be used by the communities where they operate.

Recognizing that each facility is unique, Pronaca, a leading food processor in Ecuador, has chosen Marel as its technological partner to develop wastewater treatment solutions tailored to the specific needs of each processing unit, whether for poultry, pork, or further processing.

For the past 15 years, Marel has been developing wastewater treatment systems to meet the specific requirements of each Pronaca plant. The most recent project, scheduled for implementation in 2023 at Pronaca's new facility in Puembo, marks the sixth treatment system developed through this partnership. The previous systems were installed in Santo Domingo, Yaruqui, Bucay, Pie Durán, and Pifo.

Hector Ortiz, Corporate Director of Quality and Environment at Pronaca, highlights that the strategic partnership with Marel has been mutually beneficial. "We rely on Marel's technical support to find the best solutions that truly meet our needs in every situation, as each operational center has unique characteristics," he says. "Marel helps us identify the most suitable capabilities and designs to meet the requirements of each center," he adds, emphasizing that sustainability is an evolving concept that constantly demands new technologies.

"Marel's technological evolution contributes to the efficiency of treatment systems, expanding the possibilities for water recovery and reuse. These subsequent steps are essential in our journey towards responsible water management."

In addition to meeting all legal requirements, the company is focused on ensuring that wastewater treatment is as efficient and appropriate as possible. "We consider whether the efficiently treated water can in the future, with appropriate complementary treatments, be potable and used in the community rather than simply discharging it into the sewage system," explains the director. "Marel plays a significant role by providing technology and technical support to assist Pronaca in addressing these challenges and achieving more efficient, sustainable and socially responsible water management."

Water Treatment

Shared experience

Together, Marel and Pronaca jointly develop customized wastewater treatment projects designed according to each plant's needs. Marel is crucial in providing technical insights that assist Pronaca in designing and implementing effective solutions.

"Throughout the construction and implementation phase, we benefit from continuous support from Marel technicians, who oversee the installation to ensure precision and efficiency," says Mr. Ortiz. "Once we commence operation and the stabilization process, we continue receiving on-site and remote assistance. This support focuses on evaluating the technology's performance and how we can optimize it for the best efficiency. In summary, Marel is present throughout the entire process, providing guidance and assistance, ensuring our operations are successful and efficient."

Respect for water resources

Proper water resource management and responsibility in its use are integral to Ecuador's culture. The country has a regulatory framework that governs the collection and final destination of wastewater. According to legislation, treated wastewater can be used for soil irrigation, discharged into the sewage system, or returned to bodies of water. The quality requirements for treated wastewater vary depending on the destination or disposal.

Pronaca continually seeks alternatives that go beyond legal compliance. "The reason for this is that, ultimately, our goal is not only to meet legal requirements but also to lay the groundwork for water recovery and reuse in the future," says mr. Ortiz. This option aligns with the company's philosophy, which consistently promotes sustainability. The director cites the wastewater treatment of Pronaca's facilities as an example of this commitment. "In water treatment systems that operate on the principle of activated sludge, sludges are transformed through an appropriate composting process into fertilizer, which has been used in agriculture for a long time; also, in some operations, the wastewater, after treatment, is recovered for some cleaning processes, and in other treatment systems it is used as fertigation, which considerably reduces soil compaction and erosion and is, without doubt, the way to irrigate and provide nutrients to the soil of the future because it considerably reduces the consumption of both water and fertilizer. This approach reflects our involvement in the circular economy, as we always seek opportunities to optimize and manage waste properly."

In recent years, Pronaca has implemented actions in all its facilities and operational centers to ensure responsible, efficient, and rational use of resources, especially water, energy and materials, as well as waste minimization and wastewater treatment. The company has set its strategy to consolidate circular economy strategy by 2035, taking a step forward in promoting, developing, and supporting circularity, ecodesign, and material reuse projects.

About Pronaca

Pronaca has 100 operational centers throughout Ecuador, including farms, processing plants, and distribution and administration centers. It started as a small family business in 1957, grew steadily, and has become a leader in food processing in Ecuador. Innovation is ingrained in its corporate DNA and is considered essential for developing new food products and solutions, as well as the processes used to produce them. The company focuses on environmental preservation to ensure that future generations can eat well with accessible, high-quality products.


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