Construction completed at Hungarian ethanol plant

By Holly Jessen | April 09, 2012

Pannonia Ethanol, a corn-ethanol plant in Dunafoldvar, Hungary, is now producing ethanol. Pannonia Ethanol Zrt., a special purpose subsidiary of Ethanol Europe, hired Fagen Europe LLC as the project’s design builder for the facility, which will produce up to 240 MMly (63.4 MMgy) of ethanol in central Hungary, said Eric Sievers, CEO of Ethanol Europe

Although Sievers pointed to a cumbersome permit process in Europe, the development company had what he described as a fantastic experience in Hungary. The country has room to expand its corn crop yield and local markets for corn are needed. “The local town that we are in, is 100 percent supportive of what we are doing and they understand what we are doing,” he said. In all, the plant will utilized about 575,000 tons of corn and produce about 175,000 tons of DDGS annually.

The ethanol produced at Pannonia is expected to be some of the “cleanest” ethanol produced in the European Union. The fuel shows a significant greenhouse gas reduction compared to fossil fuels, according to independent verification. “[It’s] well in
excess of the reduction required for sustainable ethanol under the Renewable Energy Directive,” the company said at its website.

Ethanol Europe wants to build a series of ethanol plants in Europe and has already announced its second project. Construction is set to begin on an ethanol plant of the same size in Mohacs, Hungary, in June. The company feels its partnership with Fagen Inc. is a key part of its strategy to succeed. “There’s no better partner in the world for your ethanol business than Ron Fagen,” Sievers said.

Hungary has two other ethanol plants. One is a large wet mill that primarily produces isoglucose for human consumption. Ethanol production was added on at that plant a few years ago. There’s also an old distillery that produces high quality industrial ethanol as well as some fuel ethanol. “Even though it does make fuel ethanol it’s not really in the same category,” Sievers said.