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EERL to expand production at Hungarian ethanol plant

Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd (EERL), has announced that its subsidiary, Pannonia Ethanol has signed an EUR 33 million loan package with an investment fund managed by Montreal's Cordiant Capital and with the Hungarian Export-Import Bank to enable an expansion of its Dunaföldvár ethanol biorefinery in Hungary.

Conventional biofuels that use feed-grade grains like maize also produce co-products used in the food and feed industries.
Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd (EERL) subsidiary Pannonia Ethanol is to expand production at its Dunaföldvár ethanol biorefinery in Tolna County, Hungary. Conventional biofuels that use feed-grade grains like maize also produce co-products used in the food and feed industries.

Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd (EERL), a European bioethanol group based in Ireland and with investments in Hungary and Macedonia, has announced that its subsidiary, Pannonia Ethanol Zrt, has signed an EUR 33 million loan package with an investment fund managed by Montreal’s Cordiant Capital and with the Hungarian Export-Import Bank to enable an expansion of its Dunaföldvár ethanol biorefinery in Tolna County, Hungary.

– We’re very pleased to be able to deliver on our original business plan and commitments to this community made in 2010, even despite a challenging regulatory climate and the closure of other ethanol plants in Europe. This investment will bring Pannonia’s total direct and indirect job creation to 2,000, said Zoltán Reng, Chief Executive of Pannonia Ethanol in a statement.

According to the statement, the expansion will lift Pannonia’s production capacity from 280 million litres per annum to 450 million litres per annum. Production of “Pannonia Gold”, its premium quality animal feed (DDGS) that is a co-product of the ethanol process, will increase from 200 000 tonnes per annum to 325 000 tonnes per annum. The expansion brings total investment in the facility to EUR 200 million.

– Pannonia has been a great partner to this community. As a stable, large employer operating a pollution free industrial asset, Pannonia has given this community the income and anchor investment necessary to enable our transition to a sustainable future based on the rural bioeconomy, said Zsolt Horvath, Mayor of Dunaföldvár,

Other projects halted

Maize (corn) is used as feedstock for Pannonia and is produced locally enabling farmers to have a direct relationship with the end-user of their product. Prior to the investment much of this corn would have been used directly as animal feed, exported as a raw commodity, or simply not grown.

According to Horvath, the company offers farmers a ready local market for their produce, adds substantial value to the materials at a local level, supports thousands of jobs and contributes to global food security by producing high protein, GMO free and antibiotic free animal feed to reduce Europe’s current heavy dependence on imports from South America of high land-use protein meals.

Construction of Ethanol Europe’s second project in Mohacs, Hungary was halted in response to the European Commission’s 2012 proposal to limit ethanol use, resulting in the loss of an identical economic and employment opportunity in Baranya County, which according to EERL is one of the EU’s most impoverished areas.

Project development of Ethanol Europe’s third project in Prilep, Macedonia is currently continuing but is likewise made uncertain due to regulatory uncertainty says the company.

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