SAO PAULO – Brazilian state-controlled oil giant Petrobras and private sugar and ethanol group Sao Martinho said they planned to build an ethanol plant with the capacity to produce 700 million liters of the biofuel annually.

“The plant will surely be the world’s largest sugarcane ethanol distillery,” Nova Fronteira Energia chief Fabio Venturelli told the official Agencia Brasil news agency.

Nova Fronteira Energia is the joint venture created to run the plant.

The oil giant’s Petrobras Biocombustivel unit and Sao Martinho plan to invest 520.7 million reais (about $328.9 million) in the project, which will expand the crushing capacity of the Boa Vista sugarcane processing plant in Quirinopolis, a city in Goias state.

The project is aimed at increasing the crushing capacity at Boa Vista from 2.3 million metric tons of sugarcane at present to 8 million metric tons by the 2014-2015 harvest.

Of the total investment, 430.5 million reais (about $271.9 million) will be allocated for the purchase of industrial equipment and the rest for agricultural development, the head of Petrobras’ fuels division, Miguel Rosseto, said.

Some 70 percent of the funds will come from the state-owned BNDES development bank, the country’s main development institution, Venturelli said.

The plant also will generate 600,000 megawatt-hours of electricity and create 3,000 jobs.

Petrobras Biocombustivel plans to invest close to $1.9 billion through 2015 and achieve production of 5.6 billion liters of ethanol that year.

source: laht

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