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Ground-breaking ceremony for first production plant for green ethyl acetate in Europe

CropEnergies builds new plant in Elsteraue

Mannheim, 04/05/2024 Company news

Mannheim, 05 April 2024 – CropEnergies AG, Mannheim, is taking the next step on the road to a more sustainable world: With a symbolic ground-breaking ceremony with Sven Schulze, Minister of Economics, Tourism, Agriculture and Forestry of Saxony-Anhalt, the leading European producer of renewable ethanol initiated the start of construction of the first production plant of its kind for green ethyl acetate in Europe. Numerous guests from business and politics attended the event. With this project, CropEnergies is sending out a strong signal for the use of renewable resources and greater sustainability in the chemical industry.

CropEnergies AG is building a plant for the production of renewable ethyl acetate from sustainable ethanol at the Zeitz Chemical and Industrial Park. This not only significantly reduces the fossil carbon footprint of the products made from it, but also offers customers the opportunity to increase their security of supply thanks to domestic production in Europe. The total investment for the new production plant will amount to between 120 and 130 million euros. The new site will contribute to additional added value in the Burgenland district and create around 50 jobs for highly qualified employees. Commissioning of the plant is planned for the end of 2025.

With the new plant, CropEnergies gives the starting signal for the business segment with bio-based chemicals. Dr. Fritz Georg von Graevenitz, CEO of CropEnergies AG, welcoming the guests: "I am very pleased that the next phase of the construction of our new production plant is now beginning. The central challenge of our time is to make everyday products more sustainable. The defossilization of raw materials for these products is a key factor in achieving climate targets. This is precisely why this plant is not only an important investment in the future of CropEnergies, but also for future generations, as it makes a valuable contribution to climate protection.”

"Innovation from biomass - that is what CropEnergies is committed to," von Graevenitz continues, "We want to create innovative solutions for a sustainable future. The new ethyl acetate plant is a further step in this direction. We look forward to using our biobased chemicals in the future to make an important contribution to the transformation of an industry that is still based almost entirely on fossil raw materials. This brings us one step closer to our vision of a sustainable future."

In his welcoming address, Minister Schulze emphasized the importance of such investments for the regional economy: "The new ethyl acetate plant is an example of how we can combine sustainability and economic development. I am delighted that we have been able to secure such a forward-looking project for the Burgenland district and for Saxony-Anhalt as a business location."

The plant will use production technology from Johnson Matthey, London, UK, which uses an energy efficient process to produce ethyl acetate, which is considered to be the highest quality product on the market. The technical partner for the construction of the plant is De Smet Engineers & Contractors, Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium.

The GETEC Group, Magdeburg, will construct an energy plant on the site of the Zeitz Chemical and Industrial Park to supply the ethyl acetate plant with heat and electricity in a climate-neutral manner, which can thermally utilize liquid and gaseous production residues in addition to biomass.

About CropEnergies AG

Sustainable, renewable products made from biomass – that is what CropEnergies stands for. Our products contribute to a climate-friendly world and ensure that fossil carbons remain in the ground permanently and do not continue to drive climate change.

Founded in Mannheim in 2006, the member of the Südzucker-Group is the leading European producer of renewable ethanol. With a production capacity of 1.3 million m3 of ethanol per year, CropEnergies produces neutral alcohol as well as technical alcohol (ethanol) for a wide range of applications at locations in Germany, Belgium, the UK, and France: Sustainably produced ethanol as a petrol substitute is an answer to the future challenges of climate-friendly energy supply in the transport sector. Thanks to highly efficient production plants, our ethanol reduces CO2 emissions by an average of more than 70 percent across the entire value chain compared to fossil fuel. Our high-quality alcohol is also used in beverage production, cosmetics, pharmaceutical applications, for example as a basis for disinfectants, or as a raw material for innovative biochemicals.

Equally important are the resulting protein food and animal feed products as a sustainable regional alternative to emission-intensive protein imports from overseas, as well as biogenic carbon dioxide. It is used in beverage production, among other things, and will be a valuable raw material for a wide range of applications in transport and industry in the future. Thus, all raw material components are utilised in our circular economy.