Agrana, an Austrian food company that focuses on the production of sugar, starch, fruit preparation, juice concentrate and ethanol fuel, has started the construction work for a new €65m wheat starch plant at the site of its bioethanol plant in Pischelsdorf, Lower Austria.

The starch facility, scheduled to be opened by late 2013, will process nearly 250,000 tonnes of wheat for the annual production of 107,000 tonnes of wheat starch.

The new plant also produces 23,500 tonnes of wheat gluten, and 55,000 tonnes of wheat bran.

The Pischelsdorf facility, when opened, will add an additional starch-based product to Agrana’s roster, which had earlier focused on the manufacture of corn and potato starch.

At the existing bioethanol plant, Agrana currently processes about 500,000 tonnes of cereals per year to produce nearly 210,000m³ of bioethanol and about 180,000 tonnes of animal feed ActiProt.

The close operation of the wheat starch and bioethanol plants enables the efficient processing of the cereals, while the by-products of the manufacture of wheat starch and wheat gluten can be used in the production of bioethanol, as well as in the manufacture of ActiProt, the company said.

Wheat starch is commonly used in technical application areas, while wheat gluten is predominantly used in the bread, cakes and pastries market, as well as in the production of pet and fish food.

Agrana, is a major supplier of specialized starch products in Europe, and has nearly 8,000 employees at 53 production facilities in 26 countries.

For nine months ended 30 November 2011, the company has reported a rise in its revenue by €327.8m to $1.95bn, compared to $1.62bn in the same period during previous fiscal.