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Press Release from 2021-04-20 / DEG

DEG financing for more capacity and climate protection

40 million US dollars for BENEO business line in Chile

DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH is investing in Chile. It is providing a long-term loan of 40 million US dollars for the expansion of chicory processing by the local BENEO business. Half of this amount has now been disbursed as the first tranche.

Expansion of chicory processing

BENEO is a subsidiary of Südzucker AG. In Chile, chicory plants supplied by surrounding farms are used to produce ingredients for food products. The loan will be used to build a second production line for chicory processing at the Pemuco site, located south of the capital Santiago de Chile, in order to meet the growing global demand. The fibre obtained from the chicory is used in baked goods, cereals, beverages, confectionery and dairy products, for example. In addition to expanding the existing production facility, BENEO is also working with local farmers to expand the cultivation area to optimally utilise the new capacities

Energy efficiency programme brings further improvement in environmental footprint

At the same time, investments in an energy efficiency programme will also continue. BENEO already installed a biomass boiler that generates steam and electricity back in 2015. It now plans to expand the facility so as to further improve energy efficiency throughout the company. BENEO is aiming to be able to use green electricity to cover most of its energy needs in the future and to avoid CO2 emissions. The company in Pemuco relies on biomass from the surrounding agriculture and forestry.

Klaus Helsper, Head of the German Business department at DEG, comments: “It is a rewarding task for us to work with a company steeped in tradition like Südzucker and to support it in its further development in Chile. BENEO’s focus on environmental and social issues is impressive. Here at DEG, we are delighted to also be able to contribute our extensive expertise to the implementation of the energy efficiency programme, which encompasses more than 25 individual measures.”

Cornelius Willer, Head of Corporate Finance & Treasury at Südzucker AG, says: “DEG’s expert team convinced us and delivered on its promise “More than finance”. In addition to the long-term financing in US dollars, which was tailor-made for us, we received professional advice on this project. DEG’s sustained support will make our commitment and success in this dynamically growing emerging market even more visible and will also provide additional motivation for the local management team in particular.”

BENEO currently employs a workforce of around 400 people in Chile. The company offers its employees various social benefits: in addition to medical care, these include further training opportunities and scholarships. Furthermore, the company is committed to promoting the economic development of the region, among other things with start-up consulting for small businesses.

Supporting German companies in their foreign investments in emerging markets and developing countries is one of DEG’s top priorities. As well as granting long-term loans to support their projects, it advises and supports companies on environmental and social aspects, for example.

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