Gemak to fire up “Project Dragon”

Gemak has been awarded the contract for “Project Dragon” to manufacture, install and commission a state-of-the-art whey processing and concentration facility and a cheese CIP plant for South Caernarfon Creameries (SCC) as part of its £15 million investment programme.

SCC’s investment comes as a part of a three-year expansion plan to increase production from its current level of 15,000 tonnes of cheese a year to 23,000 tonnes. The investment by SCC is being supported by the Welsh Government with a £5 million grant from their Food Business Investment Scheme. The dairy co-operative has increased its turnover by 100% over the last five years under the leadership of its managing director Alan Wyn-Jones, who said: “We’re pleased to start the next phase of our business growth strategy which will make us even more resilient, efficient and sustainable in what is a ferociously competitive global industry.”

Established in 1986, Gemak is a specialist, in design and manufacture of world-class hygienic processing equipment and engineered solutions for Dairy, Beverage, Food, Plant based and Chemical sectors with a team of over 250 people. Gemak operates from 3 manufacturing sites and 4 sales & service locations in Ankara – Turkey, Manchester – UK, Chicago – USA, Dubai – UAE and Ottawa – Canada. There are six business units namely R&D, design, manufacturing, assembly and installation, automation and sales & service.

South Caernarfon Creameries is Wales’ oldest and largest dairy co-operative which has been farmer-owned since 1938. SCC manufactures and packs over 40 varieties of Welsh and British cheeses using the locally sourced Welsh milk from their 140 farmer members, together with the skills and knowledge garnered over the generations, allowing SCC to produce exceptional quality cheeses.

SCC products have been recognised by major awards including the International Cheese Awards, British Cheese Awards, Global Cheese Awards and World Cheese Awards. SCC supply their cheese to regional, national and international markets.

Managing director Alan Wyn-Jones said: “We have gone through a detailed design, URS and tendering process in selecting the technology partner for SCC’s for first phase of “Project Dragon” as part of our growth plan for the next three years. Gemak was chosen due to their quality, technology, ability to integrate into our existing processes and systems, lead time and competitiveness. I would like to congratulate Gemak for being awarded the whey and CIP processing contract and we are looking forward to a long and successful partnership with them. We would also thank our project management partner Integrated Food Projects for their support in this process.”

Kursat Uysal from Gemak UK said: “We are very proud and excited to have been chosen by SCC as their technology partner for this project, an important step for Gemak in entering the UK whey processing market. Following the opening of our new assembly plant in 2019 and another assembly plant in early November 2021 we are able to offer up to 85% of complete factory installation work to be done at our premises reducing installation and commissioning time at our customers site by 8-12 weeks and disruption caused to customers by having contractors on site which has proven to be very popular and at times a necessity during these unprecedented times with restrictions and uncertainty giving us complete flexibility and USP.”

The state-of-the-art plant will be capable of processing whey at a rate of 30tph and concentration up to 30% total solids. It will also include a cream processing plant, storage and CIP unit. As part of the contract a brand new CIP unit for the existing cheese plant will also be supplied.

The project management is provided by project lead Andrew Lyons from Integrated Food Projects (IFP) who said: “The plant was designed to deliver an optimal operational efficiency and sustainable solutions with stringent kpi’s on waste levels, utility consumptions, operating costs and Must Win Battles. The new facility will strive to achieve carbon zero operation.”

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