AGRANA: Laying of the foundation stone for a wheat starch plant at the Pischelsdorf site in Lower Austria
AGRANA today laid the foundation stone for a starch plant at the site of its bioethanol plant in Pischelsdorf | Lower Austria. The €65m plant, which is due to be commissioned at the end of 2013, represents an important step in the direction of greater resource efficiency at the Pischelsdorf site.
The new facility will process around 250,000 tonnes of wheat to annually produce 107,000 tonnes of wheat starch and 23,500 tonnes of wheat gluten, as well as 55,000 tonnes of wheat bran. While wheat starch is predominantly used in technical application areas (particularly in the paper industry), wheat gluten is primarily used in the bread, cakes and pastries sector and in the manufacture of pet and fish food. Wheat bran is used as animal feed. Through the production of wheat starch, AGRANA, which had previously specialised in the manufacture of corn and potato starch, has added an additional starch-based product to its portfolio and, as a result, rounded off its product range.
The close integration of the wheat starch plant and the existing bioethanol facility allows the cereals to be processed in a particularly efficient manner. The raw materials otherwise left over as by-products of the manufacture of wheat starch and gluten will be used in the manufacture of bioethanol and to produce the premium-grade, GMO-free, protein-rich animal feed ActiProt. Including the high-purity CO2, which is produced by the industrial gas supplier Air Liquide via a CO2 recovery plant, a total of four high quality products will be obtained from only one commodity at the Pischelsdorf site. “The production of wheat starch is a significant step for AGRANA in the direction of the complete processing of the commodities used and therefore makes an important contribution to achieving the fundamental concept of a closed substance cycle”, says AGRANA CEO, Johann Marihart.
AGRANA is the foremost sugar company in Central and Eastern Europe. It is also the leading supplier of specialised starch products in Europe by a considerable margin as well as being a large producer of bioethanol in Austria and Hungary. In the field of fruit, AGRANA is the top global producer of fruit preparations for the dairy industry and one of the leading producers of fruit juice concentrates in Europe. With approximately 8,000 personnel at 53 production facilities in 26 countries, AGRANA generates global revenues of over €2bn.
At its Pischelsdorf site, AGRANA Bioethanol GmbH currently processes approximately 500,000 tonnes of cereals per year to produce around 210,000m3 of bioethanol and up to 180,000 tonnes of the high-grade, GMO-free, protein-rich animal feed ActiProt.