PISCHELSDORF, AUSTRIA — AGRANA opened on June 12 a new wheat starch processing plant at its site in Pischelsdorf, Lower Austria. 

The capital investment involved amounted to around €70 million. This new facility represents an expansion of the current range of starch-based products at the site to include wheat starch in addition to the existing corn and potato starch ranges. The construction of this facility alongside the existing ethanol plant is a key step in the direction of resource efficiency, i.e. 100% utilization of raw materials.

The wheat starch facility will annually process around 250,000 tonnes of wheat to produce 105,000 tonnes of wheat starch and 23,500 tonnes of wheat gluten in addition to 55,000 tonnes of wheat bran. Wheat starch is used, on the one hand, in a variety of mainly technical applications (such as in the paper industry) and, on the other, in the food industry, e.g. in the production of noodles, bread and other bakery products. Wheat gluten is used in the baking industry to refine flour and in the manufacture of pet food products as well as in fish food. Wheat bran is used as animal feed.

The close integration of the wheat starch plant and the existing ethanol factory will enable the cereals processed to be 100% utilized. The raw material components left over from the manufacture of wheat starch and gluten will be used in the production of ethanol as well as for the production of the premium-grade, GM-free, protein-rich animal feed marketed as ActiProt. 

Taking into account the high-purity CO2, which is extracted from the fermentation tanks of the ethanol plant by the industrial gas company Air Liquide, this makes a total of four top-quality products which are manufactured from a single commodity. 

"AGRANA's aim is to maximise the efficient use of commodities by means of the optimal tapping of synergies at its production sites. This closed-cycle form of commercial operations means that we are a major step closer to achieving this objective as a result of the wheat starch production in Pischelsdorf," said Johann Marihart, chief executive officer of AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG.