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CropEnergies: Next Generation Bioethanol Plant in Belgium Starts Production

Mannheim, 12/22/2008 Company news

Mannheim, 22 December 2008 - BioWanze, the Belgian subsidiary of CropEnergies AG, Mannheim, starts production in its next-generation bioethanol plant in Wanze, Belgium, as planned.

The plant, being the largest bioethanol plant in Belgium, will produce up to 300,000 m³ of bioethanol per year from wheat and sugar syrups. The innovative manufacturing process, which uses biomass as a primary energy source, lowers CO2 emissions by up to 70% compared to fossil fuels. With this, BioWanze has been awarded half of the distributed production licenses or 125,000 m³ per year until 2013 with which the Belgian government promotes biofuels in the domestic market. The investment for this unique technology is more than ? 250 million.
The energy concept of the plant centers on the biomass boiler which will generate energy for the bioethanol production from the bran of the wheat delivered. This means that the plant is virtually self-sufficient when it comes to the generation of energy. This optimized energy system maximizes CO2 savings.
The BioWanze plant produces sustainably; it uses its raw materials completely. Besides bioethanol, which replaces gasoline, a range of by-products is manufactured. After the separation of the bran for energy purposes, high grade gluten is extracted and processed. It is used in the food or feed industry. In addition, the remaining proteins and other components of the fermented wheat and sugar syrups are condensed and are used to manufacture CDS (Condensed Distillers? Solubles), a valuable animal feed. It will be marketed under the brand name ProtiWanze.
The location of the BioWanze plant allows the ideal supply of raw materials as well as the efficient removal of finished products. The BioWanze plant - situated directly on the river Meuse - has access to inland waterway transports and the logistically important hub Antwerp - Rotterdam - Amsterdam in addition to ground transportation.
With the commissioning of the plant in Wanze, CropEnergies concludes the planned expansion projects for 2008 on schedule. Besides the acquisition of the French alcohol producer Ryssen Alcools S.A.S. with an annual production capacity of 100,000 m³ of bioethanol for fuel applications in June 2008, CropEnergies has expanded the production capacities in Zeitz, Saxony-Anhalt, from 260,000 m³ to 360,000 m³ of bioethanol per year in June 2008, further establishing the position as the largest bioethanol plant in Europe. Altogether, these projects have almost tripled CropEnergies? annual production capacity to over 700,000 m³ bioethanol.

The CropEnergies AG
The CropEnergies Group - a member of the Südzucker Group - is an established leading European producer of bioethanol for the fuel sector.
Crop stands for creative regeneration of power. Energy in the form of bioethanol is produced from renewable resources, grain and sugar beets. With subsidiaries in Germany, France, and Belgium, CropEnergies has established itself as a bioethanol producer in a growing market in just a few years and it operates todays largest bioethanol plant in Europe in Zeitz, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. CropEnergies considers itself a pioneer on the German bioethanol market and expands its market position in Europe. The shares of CropEnergies AG (ISIN DE000A0LAUP1) are listed in the Prime Standard at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.