News last update:6 Aug 2012

German companies plan better use of sunflower meal

Three companies are planning an industrial plant in the port of Neuss for recycling of biomass and in particular sunflower cake.

Dortmund based firm SoBlex has plans to build a plant for further processing of extraction cake, which is a by product of sunflower oil production.
With the use of the by SoBlex developed process two product can be manufactured in Neuss harbour. One of them being animal feed. “The cake of sunflower seeds is already in use in animal feeds,” said SoBlex production manager Erhard Bazak.
However, due to the fibrous hulls it is considered a less valuable product which is mainly used in ruminant feeds.
“We split the hulls from the internal seeds,” Bazak said. The inner parts of the seeds are the valuable part of the sunflower and can be fed to fish and other production animals.
Animal feed from non genetically modified plants is well sought after, according to Bazak. “Especially in England the demand is huge,“ he said.
The hulls then will pelleted and sold as a source of biofuel. “These pellets have the same energy value as wood pellets. Energy efficiency is high,” Bazak said.
Swiss equipment manufacturer Buhler will take care of the technical part of the SoBlex process and German firm Assmann is to build the building.
The business plan of SoBlex also foresees cooperation with companies located in the Neuss harbour. It is planned that Thywissen, which produced rapeseed oil, but also sunflower oil, will supply SoBlex with 60,000 tonnes of sunflower extraction cake in the first year.
Investors wanted
SoBlex production manager Bazak has an ambitious time frame for exploitation of the fallow area in the harbour.”At the end of 2012 we intend to run the first tests at reduced volume.”
Investors are still being sought after and the project will be on display at the Expo Real in Munich. In total the investment is estimated at €50 million.

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