Scanola Baltic unveils new Painküla oil plant


Scanola Baltic, a subsidiary of AS Baltic Agro, is planning to open a new rapeseed oil production facility at its Painküla plant in late February or early March. The company has plans to gradually diversify its product range. AS Baltic Agro acquired the assets of the insolvent Werol Tehased at auction last August. On 1 October, the company founded Scanola Baltic, a new undertaking that will continue rapeseed oil production in Painküla.

According to board member Ants Puusta, the existing plant is currently operating at full capacity. Raw materials supply is good, as is the market demand for oil. "Our main efforts are currently focused on completing the new production facility, which was founded by the previous owners. They erected the yellow-green building and brought in oil presses. Our job now is to complete isolation, insulation and start-up activities and establish new elevators. ".
Puusta, who is also the CEO of AS Baltic Agro. He said the new plant would be up and running in late February or early March, if the work proceeds according to plan. "The plant's capacity is 140,000 tons of rapeseed annually, or twice the volume of the old plant. Due to certain energy shortages, production will begin at half capacity, but full capacity will be achieved in August.
That is also when farmers begin to supply this year's rapeseed harvest to the plant. Other investments, such as the modernisation of goods entrance procedures, are also required in order to receive the new harvest. This means we are now working on several fronts. Investments amount to millions of euros. Final amounts are yet to be clarified because the first three months of business in Painküla have not been enough to establish the exact amounts required for various purposes," the CEO noted. "We shall disclose the amount of expenses once it has been established," he added.

"AS Scanola Baltic retained the popular Olivia consumer brand, used on 0.5-, 1- and 5-litre bottles and 10- and 20-litre containers, which cover just 10-14 per cent of the oil production. The rest is sold in bulk and hauled in large tank wagons. We also have certain plans for product diversification. We will begin producing deep-fry oil and salad oil is also an option. The feasibility of flavoured oil production is also being determined, " Ants Puusta said.

The number of staff will remain unchanged. As of today, AS Scanola Baltic has thirty-eight employees. "That is a rather large number for a rural company. There are currently no plans for significant staff increases; instead, we are focusing on improving the efficiency of existing staff in corporate development. Our goal is to ensure sufficient work volumes and employee satisfaction, " Puusta said.

He said AS Scanola Baltic was also using heat from a co-production plant established in Painküla. "However, the co-production plant has never been fully operational. We are negotiating with Eesti Energia to find a mutually beneficial solution for the use of heat, cold and electricity from the plant," he noted.

Source: 31/01/2013 Vooremaa newspaper