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Brazil's FS Bioenergia dives deeper into corn ethanol



By Argus

Petroleumworld 04 11 2019

Brazilian corn ethanol pioneer FS Bioenergia plans to develop three new corn ethanol projects in Mato Grosso state after recently completing the expansion of its first plant.

The first of the three new projects, a 530mn liter per year (9,133 b/d) plant in Nova Mutum, will receive R1bn ($260mn) in investment, the company told Argus . Construction is scheduled to begin next month.

The other two new plants will be in Campo Novo do Parecis in western Mato Grosso, and Primavera do Leste in the central region of the state. Construction of the two plants will begin in 2020, after its second plant in Sorriso, with 530mn l/yr of capacity, begins operating early next year.

Once the company's five projects are fully operational, it will have total installed capacity to produce 2.6bn l/yr of corn ethanol, FS Bioenergia said. If confirmed, FS Bioenergia would become one of the largest ethanol producers in Brazil.

Currently, mills in the center-south region are expected to produce 30bn-31bn l of ethanol in the 2019-20 season which officially began this week.

Brazil's largest sugar and ethanol producer Raizen, a joint venture between Shell and local logistics firm Cosan, projected ethanol production of up to 2.6bn l in the 2018-19 season, which ended on 31 March.

Last week, FS Bioenergia completed the expansion of its first corn ethanol plant in Lucas do Rio Verde in Mato Grosso, bringing its capacity to 530mn l/yr.

The Lucas do Rio Verde plant "showed excellent results and serves as a model for our expansion," said FS Bioenergia chief executive Rafael Abud.

He said the company's decision to focus its investment in Mato Grosso state where there is ample corn production and growing demand for distillers' grains (DDGs) was an important factor in the success of its model.

The plants will also produce corn oil and generate surplus electricity from biomass.

Demand for ethanol in Brazil is projected to expand rapidly in coming years after the 2017 passage of a sweeping biofuels stimulus law known as Renovabio, which is expected to be fully implemented by 2020.

Most of Brazil´s ethanol is derived from sugar cane.



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