By Daniel Williams
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona

Spanish Olive Oil Giant ACESUR Invests 10 Million Euros in 2010 In Spite of Industry Woes

ACESUR (Southern Oils), a leading group within the Spanish olive oil sector which exports olive-based products to more than 70 countries around the world, is adding to the aggressive investment campaign it has been waging for the past two years.  The ACESUR group has presented a proposal to spend some additional 10 million Euros in 2010 in a plan designed to modernize the production process, make improvements in its olive oil bottling factories and initiate changes to its electric co-generative plants designed to improve efficiency and output.

The improvements in these co-generative plants will further increase output by maximizing utility through the recycling of energy and in the last years this move towards sustainable energy has been the object of a 37 million euro investment plan. Of this figure, 25 million Euros were devoted to a new biodiesel plant situated in Tarancón which was inaugurated in 2009.

This incredible investment plan from Spain’s third-largest bottler of olive oil contrasts with the poor situation of the olive oil sector at present which is attributable to epic falls in prices in 2009. The olive oil crisis hit ACESUR hardest in this year and the company lost some 350 million Euros. At home, it lost more than 17% of its nation sales (220 million Euros) while gains from exports dropped 9% and lost the company some 130 million Euros in sales.

Due to these record losses ACESUR is improving the output and efficiency of its factories at home and currently undergoing aggressive efforts to internationalize. At the end of 2009, ACESUR acquired the Portuguese oil brand “Mesmo” as the first step in a strategy to dominate the Portuguese market. Additionally it bought another 50% of the Syrian group EMOC (The East Mediterranean Olive Oil Company) from the Saudi holder Ben Ladem, thereby gaining full ownership of the subsidiary company. EMOC already has its own olive oil factory and refinery and will be used by the ACESUR group as a platform for its expansion into the Arab market. EMOC is already the leading olive oil producing group in the Syrian market and has recently expanded its production to include sunflower and corn oils.

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