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Hungary: Hungrana spends €100 million to triple bioethanol capacity

Hungary’s Hungrana, Europe’s biggest maize processor, has spent €100 million to more than triple its bioethanol capacity to an annual 150,000 tons, business daily Világgazdaság reported on Tuesday.

Hungrana managing director Attila Lengyel said the company’s new capacity, which will be officially inaugurated in July, is enough to allow Hungary to meet the EU’s 2020 target for 10pc bioethanol content in vehicle fuel.

Hungrana started the greenfield investment in 2006, the same year it started making bioethanol. The plant was built without any state or EU subsidies, Lengyel said. Hungrana started selling its own biofuel -- E85, consisting of 85% bioethanol and 15% petrol -- for so-called flexi-fuel vehicles about a year ago. The fuel is available at 15 petrol stations, though Hungrana aims to boost this to 100-150 within a year, giving it country-wide coverage, Lengyel said.

Hungrana is already planning further investments. It wants to build a biogas plant that could supply 25-30% of its energy needs. Hungrana has boosted its output of isoglucose from an annual 140,000 tons to 220,000 tonnes since Hungary joined the EU. This year, Hungrana targets revenue of Ft 60 billion, up from Ft 40-45 billion in previous years, Lengyel said. Hungrana is a joint venture of Austria’s Agrana and US-UK Eaststarch. (MTI-Econews)