Brazil’s Unica advocates for sugarcane ethanol at summit

06 June 2011 19:57  [Source: ICIS news]

SAO PAULO, Brazil (ICIS)--The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (Unica) opened its 2011 ethanol summit on Monday, advocating for sugarcane ethanol as a more environmentally friendly fuel and for wider use as a plastics feedstock.

The event drew 2,000 delegates to Sao Paulo, an increase of 43% of from the previous event two years ago, the trade group said.

Unica opened the event with announcement of a new web site,, which the group said was created to promote the benefits of sugarcane.

The site is intended to explain how sugarcane can contribute to solve or reduce the impact of many of the pressing challenges the world is facing, Unica said.

"We decided to launch this new site to share knowledge and information with a growing global community of people who want to know how their food and energy choices affect our environment and people,” said Unica president Marcos Jank.

Unica also touted improvements made in the harvesting process of sugarcane in the centre-south region of Brazil, saying mills in the area were increasingly relying on mechanised harvesting.

Mechanised harvesting is considered more environmentally friendly because it does not involve burning of sugarcane fields.

The centre-south region accounts for 90% of Brazil’s ethanol production.

Unica also promoted the opening of new markets for the biofuel, including the introduction of “green” polyethylene (PE), which Brazilian petrochemical maker Braskem began producing in September 2010.

"Sugarcane by-products are efficient and sustainable solutions that can replace gasoline, diesel, plastics and beyond that...," Jank said.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was expected to speak at the opening ceremony at the event, but she cancelled the trip because of a meeting with Venezuela President Hugo Chavez, a government official said.

The official, who spoke on behalf of Rousseff, said Brazil was investing heavily to tap its crude oil reserves, but the country also would continue to rely on ethanol as an important source of energy.

The official also called for an end to trade restrictions on ethanol, saying the biofuel must have the same freedom of trade as crude oil.

Ethanol must become a global commodity, he told delegates.

The 2011 ethanol summit opened on Monday and will close on Tuesday.

For more on ethanol, visit ICIS Chemical Intelligence

By: William Lemos
+1 713 525 2653

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index