Clonbio sees profits jump to €77m amid upturn in ethanol prices

Irish-owned renewable energy group operates Europe’s largest grain-based biorefinery

Irish-owned renewable energy firm ClonBio operates Europe’s largest grain-based biorefinery.

Irish-owned renewable energy firm ClonBio operates Europe’s largest grain-based biorefinery.

 

Irish-owned renewable energy firm ClonBio, which operates Europe’s largest grain-based biorefinery, saw profits jump 23 per cent to €77 million last year.

The Dublin-headquarted company, formerly known as Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd, also reported an 11 per cent rise in revenue to €278 million amid an upturn in ethanol prices.

The company manufactures ethanol from corn at a major processing plant in Hungary which is then combined with petrol to reduce transport emissions.

Demand for its product has grown in tandem with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions from traditional fuels.

By 2020, the EU aims to have 10 per cent of the transport fuel of every member state come from renewable sources such as biofuels.

Founded in 2008 by Dublin businessman Mark Turley, ClonBio processes 1.1 million tons of corn from farmers each year at its Hungary plant while making animal feed from the residual protein.

The company said it had acquired a storage and port facility adjoining the biorefinery on the River Danube, giving the company its own port and greater operational flexibility.

The strong performance also allowed it paydown debt with short term borrowings reduced by €49 million to €35 million while long term borrowings fell by €18 million to €48 million.

Net profits benefitted from reductions in corporate tax rates in Hungary, it said.

Mr Turley, who is also the group’s chief executive, said: “This year has started well with the group investing a further €30 million in the development of its biorefinery, which is now the largest ethanol plant in Europe and recognised as one of the most efficient.”

“Renewable biofuels are by far the most important technology in the world for reducing carbon emission in transport,” he said, noting the company bioethanol reduces carbon emissions in petrol by 70 per cent and is on track for 90 per cent by 2030.

“We see our market growing as E10 (10 per cent ethanol blended into petrol) is introduced more widely in Europe. We are strongly advocating for the introduction of E10 in Ireland, ” he said.