AGRANA to build wheat starch plant

by World Grain Staff
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PISCHELSDORF, AUSTRIA — Over the next two years, AGRANA Bioethanol GmbH will be investing around €56 million in building a starch factory for the production of wheat starch and gluten at the site of its ethanol plant in Pischelsdorf, Austria. The facility will start operations at the end of 2013 and boost the workforce at the Pischelsdorf site from the current level of around 80 to 120.

The plan is for the new facility to process around 250,000 tonnes of wheat to make 107,000 tonnes of wheat starch and 23,500 tonnes of wheat gluten as well as 55,000 tonnes of wheat bran.

The wheat starch produced at the plant will largely be employed in technical applications (e.g. in the paper industry). Wheat gluten is used in the baking sector. It is also used in pet food for cats and dogs. The bran produced serves as animal feed. Through its production of wheat starch, AGRANAwill be offering customers an additional starch product and thereby rounding off its product range in the starch segment.

The construction of the new wheat starch facility at the site of the existing ethanol plant will generate important synergies given that raw material constituents unused in the production of wheat starch and gluten can be used in the production of ethanol and the high quality, GMO-free, protein-rich, animal feed Actiprot.

Over the course of its entire lifecycle, from planting and fertilizing the crop, transport, processing until its use as a fuel in engines, AGRANA ethanol reduces emissions of green-house gases compared to petrol by around 50%.

As such, AGRANA ethanol already complies with the minimum requirements of the E.U. from 2017 in terms of the reduction in green-house gas emissions from biogenic fuels compared to fossil fuels.

With every unit of energy used producing three energy units of output, the energy balance of the ethanol produced is very positive. In conjunction with the CO2 recovery plant currently under construction in Pischelsdorf, which will be used mainly in the production of biogenic carbonic acid for the beverages industry, the new wheat starch plant is an additional step in the direction of the optimal and sustainable processing of agrarian raw materials.

“This multi-phase processing of agricultural raw materials is an example of how AGRANA actually puts the underlying principle of closed-cycle economics into practice on a daily basis as far as is possible,” said Johann Marihart, chief executive officer of AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG.
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