Gas Crunch Spurs Austrian Sugar Firm to Step Up Efficiency Focus
(Bloomberg) -- Austria’s biggest sugar and starchmaker plans to keep investing in energy efficiency after more climate-friendly technologies helped buffer the impact of surging gas prices.
Agrana Beteiligungs AG said record gas costs mean new energy-efficiency projects will be prioritized over the next few years so that the improvements can yield higher returns. While some energy-intensive industrial companies have been forced to curtail output in Europe -- with France’s Tereos SCA warning that the gas rally will raise production costs -- Agrana is sticking to a goal of “full capacity utilization,” it said Friday.
The International Energy Agency calls energy efficiency the first fuel of the transition to greener economies. Doing business while reducing gas and power consumption will have to account for some two-fifths of the decrease in global energy emissions over the next two decades, according to the agency.
Agrana has been installing new boilers and reworking pipework to significantly reduce lost heat during sugar and starchmaking processes. The company earlier announced plans to spend about 10 million euros ($11.6 million) annually through 2025 to cut emissions by about a quarter. Agrana estimates some 400 million euros of investment will be needed hit carbon neutrality by 2040.
“Increasing energy costs also affects us, but this confirms the course we have taken in order to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions,” Agrana spokesman Markus Simak said. “A number of energy efficiency projects have been implemented, so that the price increase can be partly compensated.”
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