Lurgi AG, a subsidiary of the GEA Group, has won five new contracts worth approximately €70 million (US$82 million) to build biodiesel plants in Germany.
In addition, the plant engineering contractor has signed a contract worth €100 million (US$118 million) to build the Panda Energy ethanol plant in Hereford, TX. (Earlier post.)
Since July of this year, Lurgi has won eight new contracts to build biodiesel plants worth a total of roughly €140 million (US$165 million) and with an annual output of just under a million tons of biodiesel.
As one of the world’s market and technology leaders, Lurgi is benefiting particularly strongly from the booming demand for biofuels.
Once these new plants have been completed, between 60 and 70 percent of global output of biodiesel will be produced using Lurgi technology. In Germany this proportion will be between 70 and 80 percent.
Our focus on profitable proprietary technologies in fast-growing markets is being reflected in the increasingly impressive performance of our business—Klaus Moll, CEO of Lurgi AG
The third quarter of 2005 saw Lurgi report a profit for the first time since the strategic reorganization that was completed earlier this year. The company is concentrating on building plants used to produce biofuels from renewable resources and on plants used in the manufacture of petrochemical products such as methanol, plastics and synthetic fuels based on natural gas.
To meet EU targets of 5.75% biofuels by 2010, EU-wide demand for fuels made from renewable resources will almost treble from less than five million tons at present to just under 14 million tons per year.
Approximately 40 new biodiesel plants producing an average of 100,000 tons per year each and 60 new bioethanol plants with an average annual output of roughly 100,000 tons each will have to be built in Europe alone by 2010. This would equate to an investment of around €3 billion (US$3.5 billion).