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Hungarian firm builds maize-processing plant, full capacity in 2018

BUDAPEST, Aug 31 (Reuters) - A private Hungarian firm is
building a plant that is expected to process over half a million
tonnes of maize per year by 2018, Tisza-TK Projekt Kft, which is
building the plant, said on Wednesday.

The 145 million euro ($161.39 million) plant in the town of
Tiszapuspoki, 134 km (83.26 miles) east of Budapest, will
produce an annual 230,000 tonnes of isosugar - a
glucose-fructose syrup used in the food industry - as well as
starch, alcohol and feed components.

It is expected to employ 550 people, and will use 530,000
tonnes of maize per year harvested in eastern Hungary, the
privately-held company, owned by businessman Laszlo Karpati,
said.

"The plant will be launched early in the second half of next
year and we will definitely be producing in the second half,"
Tisza-TK Projekt Kft Managing Director Vanda Zahola-Pollak said.

"The first year on full capacity will be 2018," she said.

The company has obtained a 9.2 billion forint ($33.12
million) government grant and has secured loans from state-owned
Export-Import Bank as well as MKB Bank.

The Agriculture Ministry said Hungary exported about 3.6
million tonnes of maize in the past five years on average,
mostly to Italy, Germany, Austria and countries outside the
European Union through Romania and the Netherlands.

Hungary harvested 6.6 million tonnes of maize in 2015 and
the ministry said this year's crop looked favourable, indicating
that the export surplus could be higher than in previous years.

The new plant will sell most of its products to EU member
states in the central European region, Zahola-Pollak said,
adding that an estimated 70 percent of its products would be
sold abroad.

Revenue is seen between 50 billion and 70 billion forints
($180-$252.00 million) per year, she said.

Hungrana, another major player based in the central
Hungarian town of Szabadegyhaza, processes over a million tonnes
of maize per year, according to information on its website.

Pannonia Ethanol produces bioethanol and animal feed at a
plant in Dunafoldvar.
($1 = 0.8985 euros)
($1 = 277.78 forints)

(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; editing by susan Thomas)

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