In the village of Visonta in Heves County on Monday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán inaugurated the Viresol Kft. wheat starch plant. He described the plant as another milestone for the Hungarian food industry, assisting grain processing in Hungary to enter an entirely different dimension.

“It’s good to not only see the evidence of Hungary’s progress in statistics, but also in the real world of the here and now”, the Prime Minister said.

He stressed that the Visonta plant will process 250,000 tonnes of Hungarian GMO-free wheat, using cutting-edge, environmentally friendly technology, without any waste. Mr. Orbán pointed out that in a year with a good crop this quantity will be one tenth of Hungarian wheat intended for exports, and he added that the goal is for as little wheat as possible to leave the country in unprocessed form.

The Prime Minister also made it clear that Hungary “will not yield an inch” in ensuring that its agriculture remains GMO-free, as the Hungarian people have decided that they do not want to see GMO foodstuffs on the shelves in shops. He described the Visonta plant as a guarantee of this. He further highlighted that the Visonta wheat processing plant will be able to manufacture gluten-free wheat starch in large quantities, thus making the lives of many people easier.

The Prime Minister stressed that in the future Hungary will need many such brave companies with a spirit of enterprise which can lead the way for development and innovation in Hungary. He said that “Our goal is to develop the most advanced, cutting-edge technologies here in Hungary  so that we can then use these technologies ourselves”.

Regarding government funding for the Visonta project of HUF 6.2 billion provided, Mr. Orbán observed that “we would also provide funds for projects in other towns and villages around the country if there were more plans and a more widespread spirit of enterprise […] Today it is not a lack of money that limits the development and modernisation of the Hungarian economy, but much more the lack of a spirit of enterprise and viable, ambitious, serious plans which are internationally competitive.”

On behalf of the owners, Lőrinc Mészáros described the factory – Hungary’s only wheat starch plant, and Central Europe’s most modern – as an intelligent, environmentally friendly 21st-century facility. It had also been completed on schedule. He observed that the nearby Mátra Power Station will supply the plant with energy. Expressing the hope that the wheat starch plant will be highly successful, he added that the second and third phases will be complete in May or June.

The greenfield project cost HUF 33 billion, HUF 6.2 billion of which was provided by the Government, with EUR 30 million coming from the company’s own resources. Mr. Mészáros said that the remainder was financed by bank loans.

Anett Tóth, Managing Director of Viresol Kft., said that it was an important day in industrial history, with the plant testifying to Hungarian innovation and expertise. She highlighted that all the conditions needed for successful operations exist, with the plant using the latest cutting-edge technology in the sector.

Local Fidesz Member of Parliament László Horváth said that those living at the foot of the Mátra Mountains are proud of their heritage and their land, and they respect and appreciate those who create value and provide jobs by building on these.

According to the information brochure distributed at the event, the plant – construction of which began in 2015 – is majority-owned by the company Opus Global Nyrt., and will provide jobs in the region for more than 250 people directly, and indirectly for some 700 people, including suppliers. Wheat is broken in the plant down into its individual constituents, and those which are useful are then processed.

The products of Viresol – which is a supplier to the world’s largest multinational companies – are used in the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, and they also manufacture animal feed products. The brochure describes the raw materials manufactured in the Visonta plant as being found in all areas of life, being present in a great number of products – from paper to cosmetics, detergents to tablets, tile adhesives to plasterboard, and biscuits to instant soup powder.