Cargill to enter Argentina biofuels market, plans biodiesel plant

12 August 2010 20:33  [Source: ICIS news]

BUENOS AIRES (ICIS)--Oilseed crusher Cargill plans to build a new biodiesel plant in the Argentine province of Santa Fe, an industry source said on Thursday.

Cargill Argentina chief executive Hugo Krajnc met on Wednesday with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, and said his company would invest $112.4m (€87.7m) on the project.

The plant would produce 240,000 tonnes/year of biodiesel, according to Argentine officials, with production targeting both local and international markets.

Cargill’s announcement came after Argentina increased its biodiesel blend rate in July to 7% from 5%.

Krajnc said the plant was being constructed in the city of Villa Gobernador Galvez, and would be functional by September 2011.

Cargill already has a soy-processing plant located there, which crushes 13,000 tonnes/day of soy and is the company’s largest soy-processing plant worldwide.

Domestic officials said the biodiesel facility would also include an electrical plant, which would transform vapours that emerge from the biodiesel production process into electrical energy, making the plant self-sufficient.

Cargill had been the only large oilseed trader in Argentina which had not entered the biofuels business.

According to the nation’s energy secretariat, the largest biodiesel producers in Argentina are Renova (480,000 tonnes/year), Louis Dreyfus Commodities (305,000 tonnes/year) and Patagonia Bioenergía (250,000 tonnes/year).

($1 = €0.78)

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By: Cristina Kroll
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