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July 29, 2019

RenovaBio attracts Investments in Brazil's Biofuels Sector

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The Brazilian government is hoping to attract investments in its biofuel sector through the RenovaBio program. RenovaBio is Brazil's National Political Biofuel Program that was created to attract investments and participation in the biofuel sector including: ethanol, biodiesel, biokerosene, biogas, and cogeneration of electricity.

The government and the biofuel sector hope to incentivize the expansion of biofuels with new investments by creating a more secure regulatory environment with assurances that the sector will continue to expand.

Their efforts may already be paying dividends with the recent announcement that Bunge will join with British Petroleum in a 50:50 joint venture to form BP Bunge Bioenergia, which will be a leading bioenergy company in Brazil.

BP Bunge Bioenergia will operate on a stand-alone basis with a total of 11 sugar/ethanol mills throughout Brazil with a capacity to process 32 million tons of sugarcane annually. The mills will have the flexibility to produce a mix of ethanol and sugar as well as the capacity to use sugarcane residue to generate renewable electricity. The electrical generation will be sufficient to power the mills and the excess electricity will be sold to the Brazilian power grid. The combined business will be the second largest sugarcane processor in Brazil.

The director of the Department of Biofuels in the Ministry of Mines and Energy feels that RenovaBio will be a boon for the generation of renewable electricity. He indicated that Brazil has the most efficient biomass electrical generation in the world and it's only going to increase going forward. The president of the Association of Electrical Cogeneration Industries (Cogen) feels that RenovaBio could result in an additional 200 million tons of sugarcane production with a corresponding huge increase in biomass electrical generation.

Bunge was founded in 1818 and is a leader in sourcing, processing and supplying oilseed and grain products and ingredients worldwide. It operates 360 port terminals, oilseed processing plants, grain silos, and food and ingredient production and packaging facilities around the world.