Snow Sea
Архангельский завод морских водорослей
Северо-Западный регион
Архангельск, Ленинградский пр., 328
Snow Sea

Snow Sea

Snow Sea

Архангельский завод морских водорослей

Snow Sea

The origin of production

The Arkhangelsk Seaweed Factory is the largest enterprise in the North West of Russia with rich and original history of  processing  unique marine resources.

The history starts with the First World War. As the war started, army needed industrial volumes of domestic crystalline iodine, to treat wounded and seriously ill people.

In 1915, by the decision of the Czar Nikolas II, the collection and processing of kelp and fucus began on the White Sea. This was possible thanks to the chemistry and organic chemistry professor – Vyacheslav Tishchenko, who suggested the iodine extracting technology from seaweed to Prince Alexander of Oldenburg, who was the head of military medical service.

Three years later, in January of 1918, the first Russian factory producing iodine from seaweed was built in Arkhangelsk, and in 1930, an iodine factory on the Zhizhgin Island. So, harvesting and processing of started.

However, the process did not go without interruptions. Unfortunately, the scientific developments of our fellow countrymen were interrupted by the Second World War: more than 130 people from the factories in the capital of the Pomorye region and on the island of Zhizhgin  left their places for military service. Also, the factories had to completely change their specialization, for example, starting to grind grain into flour, or process and turn spare parts for agricultural machines.

A new stage of development

In 1947, the fishing industry took the seaweed production under its wing. This was an impulse for  development of new types seaweed products.

In the summer of 1948, the USSR launched the industrial production of sodium alginate for the first time, as well as the production of technical mannitol in 1949. Six years later, the Zhizhginsky plant became an affiliate of the Arkhangelsk seaweed factory; and in 1961 all production and residential buildings of the Solovetsky archipelago were joined to the factory as well.

In 1964, by  reorganization of agar occurs the unique enterprise - \\the Arkhangelsk Seaweed Factory, which was receiving of seaweed from suppliers (agricultural cooperatives of the Arkhangelsk and the Murmansk regions and Karelia), and producing agar, alginic acid, and mannitol.

In 1967, the factory finished up the reconstruction of the alginate department. As the result, laminaria acid treatment was introduced, wooden equipment was replaced by stainless steel tanks, and alginate washing and mixing lines started operating. These innovations allowed the company to almost triple the annual production of alginic acid, as well as to reduce the consumption of raw materials per unit of output.

In the fall of 1970, in the former powder shop, specialists put into operation an agar workshop with a production capacity of 3.5 tons of agar per month, and a little later the output reaches the amount of six tons.

In 1973, the work on the technology of reconstruction and improvement of the mannitol department was completed. Particularly, crystallizers, heat exchangers, evaporation bowls, cartridge filters, and other necessary equipment appeared here. All this lead to an immediate result: the annual production of mannitol at least doubled.

Expanding capacities = expanding production

In May 1975, the construction of a new block for the seaweed factory, which is being developed by the Leningrad branch of “Giprybprom”, began in Arkhangelsk.

In 1979, the enterprise was renamed to the Arkhangelsk Experimental Seaweed Factory. Two years later, the first stage of construction, and in 1983 – the second stage of construction were put into operation with a significant expansion of the production capacity of the enterprise. Meanwhile, the need for seaweed has increased by about three times by that point. Laminaria and fucus became more and more popular.

Starting in 1986, the factory had been making various products from mannitol production by-products (resin, salts and the essences) So the factory get new clients from perfumery and cosmetic, soap industries, who actively use biologically-active and vitamin supplements together with other products of the enterprise.

The initiative of the  Valentina Nekrasova (PhD in technical sciences), an employee of the St. Petersburg Forest Technical Academy, helps to improve further the work of the factory. She developed and transferred to the enterprise the methods of using unique biologically-active substances, which made it possible to significantly increase the production of alginate and mannitol.

Environmental technologies

In 2010 begins a new, ecological chapter in the history of the Arkhangelsk Seaweed Factory. This approach determines the societal demand for natural medicines, biologically active, curative, and nutritional supplements, cosmetics and perfumes. The factory is redrawing its large-scale production, focusing on eco-products and environmentally friendly technologies, while still maintaining a scientific basis for the development of absolutely all innovations. By the way, today the factory continues to support the development trend of ecological thinking, which remains a priority of the modern agenda.

On track to quality improvement

It is important to note that the hundred-year history of the high-quality products of the Arkhangelsk Seaweed Factory is expressed in the customer love all over the world. Great reputation, consumer respect, public demand growth for new types of seaweed products - all this is the merit of the company's employees.

At the same time, the modern arrangement of seaweed harvesting (for example, mowing with a hand scythe from karbas – rowing, fishing, and transport vessel of the Pomors; natural drying of seaweed on hangers, pebble, and rocks; preservation and non-use of areas rich in seaweed) limits the volume of extraction of raw materials in the required amount. That is why the team of the Arkhangelsk Seaweed Factory is not stuck one place: it continues the scientific and industrial search for new solutions to develop what they love, and, of course, further improve the quality of the already perfect products.