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Zvijezda, Agrolaguna and Vupik received nonrefundable financing for part of investments from the Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

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Zvijezda and Agrolaguna were granted nonrefundable financial assets for financing part of investments from EU Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) in total amount of approximately 17,7 million kn (€2,3 m). Projects by both companies were approved for maximum support of 50% of the investment allowed by the Regulations on Implementation of Measure M04 "Investment in physical assets" of program for rural development in Croatia for period 2014th-2020th. When the funds approved to Vupik from the same EAFRD fund in September are added, the total of approved financial assets for co-financing is 25,3 million kn (€3,3 m) and the total amount of applied investment projects by these three Agrokor companies is almost 45 million kn (€6m).

Agrolaguna invests to additionally improve the production process of extra virgin olive oil and environment protection

Agrolaguna was given the approval for 3.151.094,46 kn for the construction of a new water purifier and equipment of its olive oil refinery. Agrolaguna requested partial funding for investments with total amount of 6,3 million kn. Agrolaguna continuously invests, mostly in new vineyards, olive groves and modern equipment as prerequisites for producing top quality products. Investments are directed towards strengthening the brands and for the next period, except the aforementioned purifier and refinery equipment, a purchase of new mechanization for crop, vegetable and olive production is planned, as well as the expansion of wine cellar capacities for 1 million liters, while an irrigation process for lasting vineyards and olive groves is in the planning phase.

“This investment represents an additional improvement of the production process of extra virgin olive oil and raises the functionality of the final product by introducing new “drop stop” cork. On the other hand, investment in the waste water purifier additionally advances the level of environment protection, one of the leading guidelines in our company activities for the oncoming period.”, said Goran Kramarić, CEO of Agrolaguna.

Zvijezda invests in more efficient production processes and energy saving

Zvijezda applied investments in a total sum of 29,1 million kn (€3,8 m) to the Agency for payments in agriculture, fishing and rural development, and received approval for nonrefundable financial assets from EAFRD in the amount of 14.580.364,60 kn (€1,9m). Zvijezda d.d. applied for the funds with an investment project “Modernization of margarine production facility”, according to which funds will be invested in the modernization of the margarine production process with the purpose of increasing production efficiency, reducing energy consumption of the process as well as upgrading to the latest technical achievements, all with respect to market an consumer demands. Zvijezda will invest in procurement of new packaging machinery for hard and spreadable margarines, as well as modernization of ice water system that will allow for reduced energy loss with the use of new insulation materials and more modern equipment. This new system assumes the use of a ice bank system that accumulates ice in low power consumption phase of production, so it can be used in peak power consumption phases without engaging the cooling facilities. This is expected to reduce power consumption and save energy significantly.

“New investments will lead to reduced power consumption and optimization of the way production process is organized, and the automatization of preparation for production as well as its digitalization is the prerequisite for energy efficient production.” said Teo Vujčić, President of Management Board in Zvijezda.

Vupik invests in soil improvement and increasing yield

Vupik was granted 7.644.800 kn (€1 m) from the assets of European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development in September, for the investment in new equipment for manure application. The first tender for funds approval from EPFRD finished in April 2015 and Vupik’s application that received funding approval was related to operation 4.1.2 “Disposal, handling and use of manure to reduce environmental impact”. The amount approved is the maximum amount of support that can be received under this operation, representing 81,11% of total investment value which is 9.425.089 kn (€1,2 m). This investment will be used for the procurement of equipment for more efficient use of fertilizer that will have a positive influence on crop yield. “To satisfy the needs of daily manure application to the fields and short timeframes to complete the process, it is necessary to increase the number of pumps and injectors as well as the overall range of the system for manure application – all of this will be upgraded with this investment.” said Davor Bošnjaković, CEO of Vupik.

 

The investments from the Program for rural development in Croatia for the period 2014-2020 is co-funded in major share from EU budget, more precisely from European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development while a lesser share is financed from the Croatian budget. The Program defines 16 measures aimed to increase competitiveness of Croatian agriculture, forestry and processing industry, but also the advancement of living and working conditions in rural areas.