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German and Hungarian companies plan €250 mln bioethanol plant

A consortium of German and Hungarian companies plan to build a €250 million bioethanol plant in Hajdúsámson (NE Hungary), Ferenc Obreczán, who heads the Association of Hungarian Farmers' Cooperatives (MAGOSz), announced on Monday. The plant will have capacity to produce an annual 340,000 tons of bioethanol, he said. Farmers representatives discussed the plan last week with German companies GEA Viegand and MDE Dezentrale Energiessysteme GmbH, and Bio-Tech-Energie, a Hungarian company being set up for the project. The plant, to be majority-owned by the German companies, would be completed by 2008. It would process 1 million tonnes of grain grown on 120,000 hectares, and create 200 jobs. The plant would have its own 50MW power plant, and would sign ten-year contracts with farmers, guaranteeing purchases. It would pay for seeds and some new machinery as well.