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Brazilian bioenergia firms announce plans for new corn-based ethanol plants




By Reuters

Petroleumworld 01 31 2018

Two Brazilian companies plan to build ethanol producing facilities using corn as raw material, they said on Tuesday, aiming to take advantage of ample supplies of the cereal in the country's center-west region.

Brazil's ethanol industry, the world's second largest behind the United States, is almost entirely based on sugar cane, a raw material usually seen as more efficient than corn. But rising demand for ethanol and successive corn output surpluses could offer opportunities in some regions.

Cerradinho Bioenergia SA plans to build a corn-based ethanol plant in Goiás state with capacity to produce 230 million liters per year, according to a statement released by the state's press agency.

Cerradinho already owns a sugar and ethanol mill in the same location in Goiás. It plans to invest 280 million reais ($87.91 million) in the project.

FS Bioenergia, which opened a large corn-based ethanol plant last year in Lucas do Rio Verde, Mato Grosso state, said on Tuesday it will invest 350 million reais to double the current production capacity to 530 million liters of ethanol per year.

FS Chief Executive Henrique Ubrig said in a statement that the results so far have been very positive, prompting the decision to expand. U.S.-based Summit Agricultural Group is a shareholder in the project.

Ethanol sales are climbing in Brazil as consumers switch to the fuel in the face of rising gasoline prices. Hydrous ethanol sales, the type used as a gasoline substitute in flex fuel cars, jumped 33 percent in November from a year earlier, according to oil and fuels regulator ANP.

Brazil has also passed legislation setting mandates for fuel distributors to market increasing volumes of ethanol and biodiesel, in a policy designed to increase the use of renewable energy and cut carbon emissions.

($1 = 3.1850 reais)

Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Susan Thomas from Reuters. 01 30 2018

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