Rising investment in Brazil’s ethanol sector and the government’s RenovaBio program could help the country to double its ethanol production by 2030, according to a government study. The RenovaBio program requires fuel distributors to gradually increase the amount of biofuels they sell each year.
The study by the state energy think tank EPE will be published on Friday, but Jose Mauro Coelho, the head of the group’s oil, gas and biofuel research division, said that under the study’s most optimistic forecast, Brazil’s annual ethanol capacity could climb from the current 27 billion liters to 54 billion liters over the next 12 years.
To reach that target, the study shows 26 new sugarcane mills would have to come online in the years ahead. Brazil’s ethanol primarily comes from sugarcane, but there is increasing interest in corn ethanol EPE forecasts corn ethanol production will grow to 3.4 billion liters by 2030.
“Corn ethanol is here to stay,” Coelho says. “Flex mills using both corn and cane should expand in Brazil. It offers advantages to producers, because the harvests are in different periods.”