Progress of New Citric Acid Plant in Austria
The global demand for citric acid as a functional and bio-based ingredient in products ranging from food and beverages to detergents and industrial applications continues to grow. Consumer trends favouring healthier, biodegradable products from sustainable production plants are the underlying drivers.
To meet future demands and in order to continue to provide stable supply to our customers Jungbunzlauer is working on the preparations for the construction of a new Citric Acid plant in Austria. The new plant will deploy state-of-the-art technology with corn as carbohydrate feedstock for the fermentation process based on natural, non-genetically modified microorganisms. Citric Acid will be extracted and purified without waste streams. Decades of process optimisation within the Jungbunzlauer Group will ensure both highly energy efficient production and minimal climate gas emission ratios. The new plant will be situated in Pöchlarn alongside the river Danube in Lower Austria. This location will make it possible to leverage the competencies and resources at the current plant in Pernhofen, Austria, one of the largest and most efficient citric acid plants worldwide. It is foreseen that in the coming decades this new plant will provide a platform for expansions within Jungbunzlauer’s bio-based product portfolio.
The re-zoning and purchase of the land as well as the very extensive environmental assessment process have, in the meantime, been successfully completed and the public hearing in early October 2020 went well. Unfortunately, the process was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Permits are expected to be granted before end of 2020 but appeals could delay the final permits into 2021. The final GO for the start of building will strongly depend on the outcome of the currently ongoing expiry review of the anti-dumping case against China in the EU, with a decision expected in the first half of 2021. The construction time of this new greenfield plant will be 18 - 24 months.