The expanded wheat starch facility will process around 650,000 tonnes of wheat per annum


Image: Agrana has opened a new wheat starch processing plant in Austria. Photo: courtesy of AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG.

Food processing group Agrana has opened a second wheat starch processing plant at its Pischelsdorf site in Austria.

Agrana has invested around €100m to develop the new wheat starch processing plant at the site of its biorefinery in the Tullnerfeld region.

The new facility will allow Agrana to double its wheat starch production capacity

The new facility will help the company to double its wheat starch production capacity, in addition to increasing the number of jobs by 45 to a total of 250.

ABB has supplied, installed and commissioned multiple drives, as well as the complete low voltage (LV) power distribution system at the new wheat starch processing plant.

Agrana’s expanded wheat starch facility holds the capacity to process around 650,000 tonnes of wheat per annum to produce 260,000 tonnes of wheat starch, 50,000 tonnes of wheat gluten, 100,000 tonnes of wheat gluten feed and 35,000 tonnes of wheat bran.

Apart from the wheat starch plant, the Pischelsdorf site also includes a bioethanol facility. Upon extraction of wheat starch and gluten, the remaining unutilised fractions of the raw materials will be used to produce bioethanol and the GMO-free, protein-rich animal feed ActiProt.

Agrana CEO Johann Marihart said: “After already investing € 200 million in the bioethanol plant and the first wheat starch production facility, we have now invested a further € 100 million in this second wheat starch processing plant.

“By doing so, AGRANA is responding to rising demand, particularly from the paper industry as a result of the growing need for packaging materials in connection with the online mail order segment.”

Wheat starch can be used in different technical applications, including the paper industry. It can also be used the food applications, including the production of noodles, bread and other bakery products.

Wheat gluten is mostly used in the bakery products sector, as well as in the pet food products and fish food.

Agrana processes the commodities corn, potatoes and wheat at its five European production sites to produce starches.

The company markets 1.8 million tonnes of starch-based products to around 2,000 global customers in more than 20 different sectors.