Brazil ETH targets cane plantations to alleviate ethanol deficit

25 June 2012 23:10  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Brazilian ethanol producer ETH will invest Brazilian reais (R) 600m ($290m, €232m) this year in sugarcane plantations to alleviate a deficit in the supply of ethanol, the company said on Monday.

The investment will increase ETH’s cane plantations to 560,000 ha (1.38m acres), equivalent to roughly 6% of the total 9m ha of cane plantations in Brazil, the company said.

The increase in cane plantations will see ETH’s ethanol production rise to 3bn liters by 2014, becoming one of the largest sugarcane producers in Brazil, the company said.

ETH wants to alleviate a deficit in ethanol supply and satisfy the needs of the domestic market and breach the gap between current sugarcane supply and milling capacity, currently standing at 50%, the company said.

Demand for ethanol and investment in the sugarcane industry has grown since dual-fuel automobiles were launched in Brazil a decade ago.

However, growth has been stalled by plantation bankruptcies, high costs and bad weather.

ETH is controlled by Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

($1 = R2.07)
($1 = €0.80)

By: Simon West

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