A groundbreaking ceremony for Beta Pura’s new betaine crystallization plant was held April 9, 2019 in Tulln, Austria. Beta Pura, a joint venture between Amalgamated Sugar and AGRANA, was formed in December 2018. The event was attended by Amalgamated Sugar and AGRANA employees, managers, and executives, along with local government officials, ESCON, Pöner and members of the press. The new plant will be an investment of approximately $40 million and will take a year to construct.
Betaine is a by-product of sugarbeets, extracted in the sugar production process. Betaine has osmoregulatory properties, meaning it naturally helps products retain proper water and salt concentrations. This vitamin-rich substance has multiple practical applications, not only in the livestock sector as an important constituent of animal feed, but also in food supplements and sports drinks. Betaine is also used in cosmetic products.
Amalgamated Sugar has been extracting liquid betaine from sugarbeet molasses since 1994 and began producing crystalline betaine in 2005. The new plant in Austria will be the third production site in the world where natural high-quality crystalline betaine is produced.
“Amalgamated Sugar is a world leader in crystalline betaine technology. Our growers and company staff are looking forward to working together with AGRANA in this business,” said John McCreedy, President & CEO of Amalgamated Sugar. “Leveraging the technology developed by our subsidiary company, Amalgamated Research LLC (ARi) is an important strategic initiative for our future.”
The ceremony began with speeches from AGRANA representatives, Amalgamated Sugar representatives and local government officials, including provincial government member, Ludwig Schleritzko. Those attending the event on behalf of Amalgamated Sugar included President & CEO, John McCreedy and his wife, Julie; Executive VP & Chief Business Development Officer, Joe Huff; Snake River Sugar Company Board Member, Mike Garner; VP, General Counsel & Secretary, Scott Blickenstaff; and Director of Feed Products, Mark Summers.
After the speeches were concluded, representatives from each company participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking by lifting the first spades of dirt. After this portion of the event, lunch was served in a tent near the construction site.
The groundbreaking festivities were very successful. The local news covered the event (See clip here).