Greg Turley and his brothers, who sold online car rental business Cartrawler, are planning a vast €250m investment to build an bio-fuel plant in Macedonia in partnership with US industrial behemoth DuPont.

The consortium plans to export cheaply produced ethanol into the lucrative European market when the plant is built in 2016. It will use cutting edge cellulosic ethanol technology which has been developed and commercialised by DuPont.

The Turley family invested in ethanol production after selling a majority stake in their Cartrawler business to private equity firm ECI for €120m in 2011.

Earlier this year, they sold their remaining 25pc stake in the fast growing group to BC Partners in a deal that valued the whole enterprise at about €400m including debt.

The Turleys invested in the €130m Pannonia ethanol project in Hungary. Greg's brother Mark is managing director of Pannonia Ethanol, which has developed a huge corn to bio fuel plant in Dunafoldvar in the centre of Hungary.

Plans to develop more Hungarian ethanol plants were put on ice when Europe change the rules on renewable energy, which made it less attractive to private investors.

Last week, the Turley investment vehicle Ethanol Europe hooked up with DuPont and agreed a deal with the Macedonian authorities to build a huge production complex in the Pelagonia region.

"The project includes a construction of modern biorefinery with a capacity of 100m litres. The project, a five-year investment of €250m, will create 1,000 jobs. The plant's construction should start in 2016 and be completed for two years," according to Macedonian minister for foreign direct investment Bill Plaveski after signing a memorandum of understanding last Thursday.

The Macedonian government is to launch incentives to encourage farmers to grow crops for bio-fuel and subsidise renewable energy on the national grid. A feasibility study is set to be undertaken by Dupont and its partners ahead of construction.

"We believe the Macedonian Cellulosic Project can reassert Europe's leadership in the bioeconomy," said Eric Sievers, CEO, Ethanol Europe. "This project provides a road map forward on how Europe can replace fossil fuels with biofuels that add to global food security.

suurce: Sunday Indo Business


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