Bunge, the world’s leading oilseed processor, is expanding the rapeseed crushing capability in its Oil Mill in Mannheim, Germany. Currently two separate lines process soybeans and rapeseed. The company is adapting the soybean crushing line to process both soybeans and rapeseeds.
The new rapeseed crushing capacity is expected to come online in the second quarter of 2006, bringing the total capacity of the facility to approximately 1.3 million metric tons annually, up from its current level of 1.1 million tons.
The project is designed to enhance Bunge’s ability to supply the growing German market for rapeseed oil as a biodiesel feedstock.
(Canola is a cultivar of rapeseed bred to have a low erucic acid content. Canola was developed in Canada and its name is a contraction of “Canadian oil, low acid.”)
The growth in demand for biodiesel is changing the landscape of the German vegetable oil market. We have decided to install additional capacity in Mannheim to supply this expanding market and to better serve our food customers.—Jean-Louis Gourbin, CEO, Bunge Europe
Last month, Bunge announced the formation of a European joint venture with KBBV and Diester Industrie to produce and market biodiesel. The new company will be called Diester Industrie International (DII).
DII will group together Bunge and Diester Industrie’s biodiesel assets in Europe, except those in France. Diester Industrie will own 60% of the joint venture and Bunge 40%.
DII will initially produce biofuels in Marl, Germany; Bruck, Austria; and Livorno, Italy. Total production capacity is expected to reach more than 430,000 tons (approximately 118 million gallons) annually. Bunge’s European oilseed processing operations will supply a significant portion of the vegetable oil used by DII to create biodiesel.
Diester Industrie is a subsidiary of Sofiproteol, a French group operating in the oilseed sector.