AGRANA and Amalgamated form joint venture for the manufacture of crystalline betaineDate: 14.12.2018
The fruit, starch and sugar group AGRANA signed a joint venture agreement with US-based sugar producer Amalgamated (The Amalgamated Sugar Company) relating to the construction of a betaine crystallisation plant at its sugar mill in Tulln, Lower Austria. The conclusion of the contract is subject to approval by the anti-trust authorities.
Betaine is manufactured from sugar beet molasses and has numerous practical applications. Betaine is used not only in the livestock sector as a constituent of animal feedstuffs but also in food supplements and sports drinks. Due to its osmoregulatory properties, betaine is also used in cosmetic products.
Work on the new betaine crystallisation plant is intended to start in early 2019. The financing required for the new facility of the joint venture amounts to around € 40 million. The construction work will take approximately a year.
AGRANA has been processing the sugar beet molasses obtained during the production of sugar to make liquid betaine since 2015. As a result of the new plant, Tulln will become the world’s third production site at which natural, high-quality, crystalline betaine is manufactured. “Amalgamated is one of the world’s leading providers of the technology which extracts top-quality crystalline betaine from sugar beet molasses. We look forward to a successful partnership”, highlighted Johann Marihart, CEO of AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG. “Our investment in additional capacity and more value added increases our competitiveness during what is presently a difficult situation in the sugar market in terms of prices”, Marihart added.
AGRANA converts agricultural raw materials into high-quality foods and numerous industrial intermediate products. About 8,700 employees at 59 production sites worldwide generate annual Group revenue of approximately € 2.6 billion. Established in 1988, the company is the world market leader in fruit preparations and the leading producer of fruit juice concentrates in Europe. As well, its Starch segment is a major manufacturer of custom starch products and bioethanol. AGRANA today is also the leading sugar producer in Central and Eastern Europe.
Amalgamated is the second-largest sugar beet producer in the USA, with a cooperative-based sugar beet acreage of around 73,000 hectares in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Besides the production of around one million tonnes of sugar, Amalgamated also sells beet cossettes, molasses and animal feed.