Picture: Copyright GranBio
BN Americas 11/05/18 – by Gabriela Ruddy – Brazil could potentially attract US$400bn in investments for the construction of 20 new biorefineries within 20 years if the country changes its subsidy policies for biofuels, the president of the Brazilian Industrial Biotechnology Association (ABBI), Bernardo Silva, told BNamericas.
“If producers make good remuneration fuel generation will grow, and with a favorable regulatory and economic environment we could have 20 new projects. Each unit requires at least 300mn reais (US$84mn) in direct investments alone,” said Silva.
Right now Brazil only has three industrial-scale biorefineries, controlled by companies such as Gran Bio and Raízen. According to Silva, the firms that have already invested in this segment in the country have plans to start building new units soon.
“Brazil is the best place for this industry because there’s plenty of biomass at competitive prices and high biodiversity. The government needs to see that the bioeconomy is the segment where Brazil will stand out in the global economy,” added Silva.
The government is implementing a program for the development of the biofuels industry called RenovaBio, whose goal is to foster production of biofuels to comply with the Paris agreement on climate change.
However, the ABBI president said the program will only help foster investments in biorefineries if producers are well compensated for the lower carbon emissions of their products.
“RenovaBio will help producers get paid for their lower carbon emissions, but our biggest concern is to find out whether this program will pay significant prices for the emissions reductions made by these products in such a way that allows them to gain market share,” Silva said.
On Friday, Brazil’s oil and gas regulator ANP started a public consultation on the proposed regulation of the issue of efficient production certificates for biofuels and the requirements for inspection companies. They will receive opinions on the document until May 25 and ANP will hold a public meeting to discuss the subject on June 5.
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