According to a report from the Baltic New Service, the project aims to bring about improved value to the rape seed oil production process and ultimately the aim is to improve efficiencies and profitability.
"Werol is about to turn from a relatively ordinary foodstuff producer into a science-heavy chemical industry enterprise," said CEO Erki Aavik.
The CEO added that the company is looking into other possible ways of developing its rape oil production, including oil enrichment and the production of biodiesel, adding that several of the options under review had never been carried out as a fully blown production process outside a laboratory. He added that thus far the pilot scheme for the protein production is mooted for launch in autumn next year.
The introduction of the new products will mean that the company will have to build a number of new production facilities, in addition to its existing plant in Painkula in central Estonia. The company did not comment on whether or not it would build entirely new facilities or extend the existing facilities.
The company's ambitious plans for the future have impacted its performance over the last four years, resulting in production losses of some €6.4 million, but Aavik stressed that the investments it has made to develop new areas of rape seed oil production should pay dividends in the future.
In the first six months of the financial year, Werol reported losses of Kroon 13 million (€830,000). However Aavik says that the investments in the existing facilities are now starting to reap their benefits and that results have now moved back into the black.
Werol Tehased was founded in 1999 and is a state-owned company, currently 98.2 per cent owned by the Agriculture Ministry. The protein and oilplant annual output is currently around 44 000 tons of expeller and 22 000 tons of rapeseed oil mainly produced from domestic rapeseed.