Italy: Project for new malthouse presented

Agroalimentare Sud, the largest independent commercial producer of malt in Italy that sells its products under the Italmalt brand, has presented today a project to build a second malt plant in the municipality of Loreo (Rovigo)in the region Veneto, located about 40 kilometers south of Venice, Italy.

The new malthouse Malteria Nord Est will have a capacity of 40,000 tons of malt and will cost about EUR 25 million (USD 29.4m). Agroalimentare Sud is a subsidiary of K-Adriatica Spa, a company active for over 50 years in the manufacturing of fertilizers, pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. The company already runs a 36,000 ton malthouse inSan Nicola di Melf, a town in the province of Potenza, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata midway between Naples and Bari.

Loreo is also seat of K-Adriatica. In 2000, the company moved its headquarters from Cologna Veneta (Vr) to Loreo (Ro) and built a new plant for the production of compacted complex fertilizers. The company hopes to gain from synergies between the different production plants in future.

The plant will only use electricity from cogeneration with the use of 100% of the heat. A 35% reduction in water consumption is expected. The production will be highly automated, linked to an integrated storage system and will make it possible to employ, directly and indirectly, over 100 people, according to a notice by the European Food Agency.

"Our goal is to be ready for the barley harvest in June 2023,” says Giovanni Toffoli, CEO of K-Adriatica. “With the new project we plan to further develop the 100% Made in Italy beer market, increasing production of malt for beer to cover 60% of the national market by reducing imports, which today amount to about 125 thousand tons.”

Through supply chain contracts, which will involve about 800 agricultural companies in Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Emilia-Romagna and Marche, K-Adriatica will produce about 92 thousand tons of malting barley in 20 thousand cultivated hectares, divided into 42 thousand tons of barley in Melfi and 50 thousand tons of barley in Loreo.

“The production of Italian barley for the beer supply chain is an opportunity for agriculture also with the recovery and productive and economic redevelopment of agricultural areas in marginal bands. The Loreo plant will represent a development pole for the Polesine and will see Veneto as the reference Region for the North East beer pole”, says Mr. Toffoli.

In February 2021, K-Adriatica fully incorporated Agroalimentare Sudin which it already held a 66% share since 2009.The merger with Agroalimentare Sud increased K-Adriatica's turnover from EUR 107 million in 2019 to EUR 128 million expected for this year. There are 150 employees.

"This operation allows us to propose ourselves as a reference point in Italian and world agriculture,” said Mr. Toffoli in February. “Through the incorporation of Agroalimentare Sud, the necessary know-how is strengthened to be at the forefront in the research and development of new solutions that result in greater efficiency in the use of nutrients by plants and greater levels of resistance to environmental stress. The new research team, set up by the operating unit in Lodi at the PTP Science Park by food technologists and biotechnologists from the Melfi operating unit, will work with the formulators of K-Adriatica to develop new solutions that, in the perspective of the circular economy, will transform what today are the production waste of malting in new and effective nutritional solutions ».

Italy has two commercial malthouses and a handful of micro-maltings. Next to Agroalimentare Sud there is Birra Peroni (Asahi) that runs Malteria Saplo in Pomezia close to Italy’s capital Rome. The company started malting in 1964 and has today a capacity of 44,000 tons.

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