Cornerstone laid for AGRANA bioethanol plant in Lower Austria

Date: 07.09.2006

AGRANA laid the cornerstone for its new bioethanol plant in Pischelsdorf, Lower Austria, at a ceremony on September 7, 2006 that was attended by Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, Minister Josef Pröll, Governor Erwin Pröll and Chairman of the Supervisory Board Christian Konrad.

The investment in this project will total € 125 million, and operations are scheduled to start in the fall of 2007. The AGRANA plant in Pischelsdorf will produce up to 240,000 m³ of bioethanol per year, which will be used primarily as a gasoline additive in Austria. This facility will create 60 new jobs.

AGRANA Bioethanol GmbH is owned by AGRANA (75%) and Rübenproduzenten Beteiligungs GesmbH (25%).

The EU biofuel guideline will trigger a strong rise in the demand for biofuels and, as a result, in the addition of bioethanol to gasoline in Europe during the coming years. AGRANA plans to utilize these opportunities to increase sales volumes at its bioethanol facilities in Austria and will also expand bioethanol production at Hungrana, its subsidiary in Hungary.

“The construction of this plant in Pischelsdorf is one of the largest single investments made by AGRANA in recent years. Our entry into the market for renewable energy represents a logical step for AGRANA because it allows us to combine our extensive know-how in the processing of agricultural raw materials with the technological expertise of a major industrial company“, explained Johann Marihart, Chairman of the AGRANA Managing Board. Bioethanol has become an important part of the AGRANA growth strategy. “In addition, bioethanol will make an important contribution to improving CO2 levels in Austria,“ added Marihart.

The Pischelsdorf plant will produce Bioethanol primarily from wheat, but also from corn and concentrated sugar beet juice. Raw material requirements will provide numerous secure jobs for the Austrian agricultural sector on a long-term basis. Moreover, the new plant in Pischelsdorf will also produce up to 170,000 tons of valuable protein feed per year. This byproduct of bioethanol production will serve as a substitute for part of the soy-based feed imported by Austria.