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Ethanol production in Brazil could double within a decade -Embrapa

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – At a time when oil is suffering from a global supply shock, ethanol could become a less volatile and more competitive alternative to gasoline in Brazil, according to sector experts and companies interviewed by CNN Brasil.

They argue for more investment in ethanol production because it is cheaper than gasoline and a renewable fuel with neutral greenhouse gas emissions.

The general director of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), Marcelo Morandi, points out that ethanol production could almost double in the next decade, reaching nearly 50 billion liters per year.

According to Morandi, production in 2021 will be about 27 billion liters, of which 11 billion liters will be anhydrous ethanol, a type of alcohol without added water that is blended with regular gasoline, and 16 billion liters will be hydrated ethanol, a kind of fuel with 8% water that is consumed directly in hybrid and flex-engine vehicles.

Ethanol production in Brazil could double within a decade. (Photo internet reproduction)
Ethanol production in Brazil could double within a decade. (Photo internet reproduction)

For Unica, the largest company in the sector, ethanol production has the conditions to grow and supply a large flex fleet but needs economic predictability and competitive prices with gasoline, as the company’s technical director, Antônio de Padua, points out.

“What we need is a resumption of investment in the sector in terms of sugarcane cultivation and improving agricultural productivity. We have an unused installed capacity; we could increase our production by more than 100 million tons of sugarcane; the industry is ready to process it and achieve positive growth in ethanol supply,” he argues.

Predictability could be created through a program launched by the federal government in 2017: RenovaBio, the National Biofuels Policy, which proposes encouraging ethanol, biodiesel, and biogas production through tax incentives and greenhouse gas reduction targets.


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