AGRANA has been processing the sugar beet molasses obtained during the production of sugar at its Tulln site (Lower Austria) to make liquid betaine since 2015. Crystalline betaine can be used as a dietary supplement (athletes), in the cosmetics industry and as a pet food even wider, promises even better sales opportunities, which is why AGRANA invested in a new plant.
The new plant, with a production capacity of around 8,500 metric tons of crystalline betaine per year, will make Tulln only the third manufacturing site worldwide where premium-quality, natural crystalline betaine is produced. AGRANA is implementing the project in a joint venture with the American sugar producer “The Amalgamated Sugar Company". The total investment amounts to 40 million euros.
Well thought out from the beginning
Already in the study phase, Pörner supported AGRANA in the selection of the location and the development of the first plant concept. Later, Pörner was also entrusted with C/S/A and electrical, I&CS.
Furthermore, Pörner is responsible for mechanical equipment such as packaging equipment including conveying systems, product tanks, the construction of a high-bay racking as well as various off-sites such as steam boilers, RTO (Regenerative Thermal Oxidation) and the cooling tower. For its planning areas, Pörner also carries out the local site supervision.
As usual, the project will be realized in a short construction period. After the start in summer 2018, the official negotiations were successfully completed at the end of January 2019. With the groundbreaking ceremony in the presence of the managing directors of AGRANA and Amalgamated Sugar as well as representatives of the state government of Lower Austria the building of the plant started in April. Completion of the project is scheduled for April 2020.
Pörner and AGRANA: A partnership for many years
In recent years, Pörner has been an engineering partner in numerous modernization and new construction projects of the leading food and industrial goods company AGRANA.
As a general planner, Pörner realized a bioethanol plant at the Pischelsdorf site, as well as a ship loading and unloading station, a screening plant and the turnkey construction of the administration building. For the Gmünd site, Pörner played a decisive role in expanding the capacity of the children's food production plant and revamping the wet potato starch plant. For the production site Tulln Pörner also provided planning and construction supervision for the construction of the molasses residual sugar plant.
"We are pleased to again be contributing to AGRANA - the world's leading Austrian company - for the new process plant for the production of crystalline betaine. This is further proof of our confidence in our engineering competence.", says Andreas Pörner, Managing Director of Pörner Ingenieurgesellschaft.
Betaine is a methyl donor and a natural component of sugar beet molasses. Its osmoregulatory properties support the water balance of cells, aids the liver to process fats, and biologically degrades the amino acid homocysteine. These positive properties offer a variety of uses, e.g. for nutritional supplements such as sports nutrition, animal feed in livestock farming or cosmetic products.