27 February 2012 16:14 [Source: ICIS news]
SAO PAULO (ICIS)--US-based agribusiness company Bunge plans to invest an additional reais (R) 1bn ($575m, €426m) in Brazil, with a possible aim at boosting the country’s bioenergy production, the company said on Monday.
The R1bn investment is in addition to the $2.5bn figure Bunge announced earlier for the country’s sugar, ethanol and biomass sectors through 2016, the company said.
Bunge is currently investing $400m in expanding one of its mills in Sao Paulo and $200m in sugarcane production.
Bunge added that the new investment could involve other sectors such as palm oil production for the biodiesel, oil, foods and cosmetics industries. However, the company did not disclose investment details.
Recently, the president of Bunge Brazil, Pedro Parente, met with the president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, who said she had concern for the fact that a large percentage of the country’s energy comes from sugarcane and demonstrated "great concern” with the country’s ethanol production after levels dropped in the last crop season.
According to Brazil’s sugarcane trade group Unica, since the beginning of the 2011/12 crop season – from April 2011 through February 2012 – sugar production in the central/southern areas dropped 6.76% compared with the previous crop season, while the production of hydrated ethanol dropped 28.79%.
An alternative source of energy could come from palm oil, used in the production of biodiesel and whose demand has been increasing, while local production is still unable to meet the domestic needs, according to Parente
Bunge is a major producer and processor of sugar, ethanol, corn and soy meal in Brazil as well as bioenergy and fertilizers.
($1 = R1.71)
($1 = €0.74)
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