Farm Frites water purification project

Potato processor Farm Frites was founded in 1971 as an independent family business. The company produces a wide selection of potato products. Not only Chips, but also potato specialities based on mash or grated potato and even cheese filled appetizers. Worldwide, 1500 people work at the production sites in the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland and Egypte. Farm Frites’ products are sold in more than 100 countries. 

Logo Farm Frites
March 2018 - June 2019
Increasing capacity for water treatment

Project description

In order to increase the capacity of the Lommel plant (located in Belgium) from 11 to 20 tonnes, it was also necessary to increase the water treatment capacity by 50%. Uticon drew up a master plan to gradually integrate the capacity expansion of the treatment plant. These include expanding the general capacity (piping, pumps, other equipment), expanding the aerated and non-aerated capacity and allowing the pre-sedimentation tanks to operate in parallel. The extensive project was split up into various sub-projects that had to be carried out according to a tight schedule. One of these sub-projects was the extension of anaerobic treatment. Uticon made an evaluation of the various suppliers and advised on the choice of supplier and associated technology.

The challenge

How can we still achieve the requested objectives within the limited budget? What do we do with the necessary facts that need to be studied? The extensive project was a complex puzzle with numerous challenges, of which anaerobic purification was just one part. In order to be able to carry out this assignment, Uticon always switched between a transcending and a realistic level. The master plan that was drawn up had to take account of technical specifications, unknown facts and a hard deadline: the expansion of the water treatment capacity had to be completed at the same time as the expansion of the new production hall. Turnaround time: 1.5 years.


In consultation, Farm Frites opted for a reactor not previously used in the potato processing industry, namely the ECSB (External Circulation Sludge Bed). This reactor works with a double settler layer in which the organic load in the wastewater is converted into biogas by anaerobic bacteria. This source of energy can be reused in the plant. Uticon’s research showed that the choice of ECSB was the most cost-, footprint-, safety- and production-efficient. The ECSB also met the programme of requirements most optimally, despite the fact that it is not common in the potato processing industry.


After selecting the right party, Uticon started designing and implementing the reactor in the existing water treatment plant. All piping and materials for supply and drainage were engineered, purchased, customised and realised. Due to a general update of the customer’s control system and PLC, it was decided to include this update in the master plan for the expansion of the water treatment plant. With the necessary integration plans, the two systems and PLCs work accurately in parallel, without compromising the functionality of the purification.

Uticon supervised the ECSB supplier and house suppliers during the implementation work. In order to ensure the safety of the builders, the heavy-duty construction ring for ring was erected from the ground and lifted up. A unique operation with a special result.

"The expansion of the production capacity and the necessary expansion of the water treatment plant are part of a very extensive project with numerous sub-projects. Thanks to the decisive action of the highly competent project leader, everything runs smoothly, orderly and exactly according to plan. Ideally, we wouldn't want to let her go!

Luc Heeren
Operator water treatment

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Mark Horvers

business development manager
+31 88 20 11 700 / +32 9 26 95 100

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