AGRANA Decides To Begin Bioethanol Production

Date: 12.05.2005

Christian Konrad, Chairman of AGRANA’s Supervisory Board, has made the following announcement: “At its meeting today, the Supervisory Board of AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG gave the go-ahead for the construction of a bioethanol plant with a capacity of 200,000 cubic metres a year in Pischelsdorf. It will cost € 105 million.”

AGRANA had been examining the profit potential of an ethanol plant and looking at possible locations after Austria implemented the EU Biofuels Directive laying down the compulsory admixture of

  • 2.5% from 1 October 2005
  • 4.3%  from 1 October 2007 and
  • 5.75% from 1 October 2008

and providing tax relief

  • for diesel from 4.4 vol% RME from 1 October 2005 and
  • for petrol from 4.4 vol% ethanol  from 1 October 2007.

As provincial governor Erwin Pröll has stressed, “The site on the premises of Donauchemie in Pischelsdorf will enormously benefit Lower Austria both economically and socially. After all, we are looking at the processing of over 500,000 tonnes of agricultural produce a year, and much of it will be grown in Lower Austrian soil. In addition to roughly 50 employees at the ethanol factory, it will therefore secure the livelihoods of numerous families in the agricultural sector.”

Austrian MP Hermann Schultes is delighted with AGRANA’s decision to build a bioethanol plant and intends, that the beet growers will participate in the project by way of a 25 per cent stake. “New markets for agricultural products are enormously important, especially in the light of the forthcoming reform of the EU sugar CMO. Beet farmers need alternative uses for sugar beet.”

Pischelsdorf came out top in the site assessment because of its location on the Danube, the available energy supplies, closeness to customers and proximity to the sugar factory in Tulln. AGRANA’s CEO Hans Marihart summed up as follows: “Once we have received all the necessary permissions, we want to start building the plant by the autumn so that the factory is up and running in mid-2007, before tax relief for ethanol fuel admixtures is introduced on 1 October 2007”.

In addition to starch and isoglucose, AGRANA is already making alcohol at its Hungrana maize starch and isoglucose factory in Hungary.