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Ceturtdiena 23.11.2017 | Name days: Zigfrīda, Zigrīda, Zigrīds
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Mortgage Bank Chairman: no problems with finding investors for sugar-beet processing

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU, Inesis Feiferis

Mortgage Bank Chairman Inesis Feiferis

It would be economically-viable to renew sugar production in Latvia and only the political will is necessary to advocate this, consider many experts, noting that Latvia should build a modern sugar factory that would also produce bio-ethanol and biogas.

The estimates show that the costs of such factory construction would comprise about 100 million lats. Similar projects implemented in other EU countries, yet without the intention to produce sugar, provide grounds for optimism, reports the newspaper Latvijas Avīze.

According to the prepared theoretical calculations by scientists, a new modern factory producing sugar, bio-ethanol and, possibly, bio-gas for heat should be built in Latvia, particularly, in Iecava – once a sugar beet-growing centre.

The academician Arnis Kalnins’ theoretical studies mainly based on Germany’s experience show that 800 thousand tons of sugar beets are required for the factory to operate efficiently. However, this is by about half more than the Latvian farmers produced in 2006.

The professor Rasma Alsina, who prepared the provisional economic justification for a Latvian sugar production facility, indicates the total factory costs could be around 100 million lats, of which 50 million would go to the factory construction, and another 50 million lats – to technologies. Additional 15 million lats would be needed to restore the farmers’ equipment park. According to pessimistic forecasts, the factory would pay off in 13 years, while the optimistic ones suggest the expenses will be justified in four to seven years.

I have not yet looked at the estimates; however, I see that Latvia needs such bio-ethanol or even biobutanol-oriented plant and it would be possible to find investors, says Inesis Feiferis, the Board Chairman of the Mortgage Bank (Hipotēku banka). He mentions that the Mortgage Bank has concluded a cooperation agreement with China Development Bank, who is interested in investing in transit, logistics and manufacturing industry. I believe that such project would be worth their attention. This industry can develop and there would be no problems with the attraction of investors, Feiferis points out, adding, however, the Agriculture Ministry should first hire professionals to carry out detailed calculations of the possibilities to renew sugar beet cultivation and explore the factory’s possible operational influence on the national economy.

 


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