AGRANA launches 2012 fall campaigns: Investment allows significant energy savingsDate: 06.09.2012
AGRANA kicked off the processing season for sugar beet (sugar beet campaign) today at its sugar factory in Tulln|Lower Austria. Sugar beet processing will begin at the plant in Leopoldsdorf|Lower Austria, in the coming weeks, as well as at our Eastern European sites in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania. As a result of unfavourable growing conditions during the vegetation period, lower beet yields are expected for the 2012 agricultural year compared to previous years, together with a slightly above-average sugar content. The processing of potatoes and wet corn in Gmünd|Lower Austria, and Aschach| Upper Austria already began at the end of August, together with apples in Gleisdorf|Styria, Hungary and Poland.
In its sugar beet campaign this year, AGRANA has employed new, sustainable production technologies. “Thanks to targeted investment amounting to approximately EUR 50 million, AGRANA is not only able to cut energy consumption and CO¬2 emissions by a significant amount at its Austrian and Hungarian facilities, but also to reduce considerably its dependency on primary energy sources,” explains AGRANA CEO Johann Marihart. In short, the company stands to cut annual CO2 emissions by around 170,000 tonnes.
Tulln and Leopoldsdorf plants require 50% less energy for drying
In order to reduce the amount of energy needed during the production of animal feed (as a by-product of sugar production), AGRANA will begin to use so-called “low-temperature drying facilities” for the first time at its facilities in Tulln and Leopoldsdorf at the start of the campaign season. This will now enable the de-sugared and processed beet pulp to be pre-dried in a particularly efficient way before being turned into dried beet pulp pellets, a popular kind of feed for livestock farming. By harnessing waste heat from upstream production steps, it is possible to cut annual energy consumption by around 50 percent. Moreover, the new facilities not only reduce odour and dust emissions but also reduce the burden of CO2 emissions on the environment by almost 20 percent annually.
Kaposvár sugar factory 80% energy self-sufficient
AGRANA is also reducing its dependency on external energy sources in its Hungarian plants. By expanding the biogas plant connected to the Kaposvár sugar factory, around 80% of primary energy needs are now covered there by biogas produced on-site. At its Hungarian plant to produce starch and bioethanol in Szabadegyháza, AGRANA has replaced around 50 percent of its annual demand for natural gas to generate process heat by making use of around 90,000 tonnes of biomass.
AGRANA is the foremost sugar company in Central and Eastern Europe. It is the leading provider of specialised products in Europe as well as being a key 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 concentrate in Europe. AGRANA generates global revenues of more than EUR 2.5 billion with around 8,000 employees at 56 production sites in 26 countries.
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