Brazil: ethanol from sugarcane

Sugarcane is the most efficient biofuel feedstock in commercial use today and sugar cane ethanol can deliver greenhouse gas reductions of up to 90% compared to conventional fuels. It can also be used as a feedstock for the next generation of advanced biofuels, such as biobutanol and diesel

Watch the film to find out more about how we are producing biofuels in Brazil.

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BP’s biofuel activities in Brazil

BP first invested in the Brazilian sugar cane ethanol industry in 2008, when we took a 50% stake in Tropical BioEnergia SA, a joint venture with LDC Bioenergia and the Maeda Group (one of the largest cotton producers in the world, with over 50 years’ experience in Brazilian agriculture) each holding 25% share. In 2011 BP purchased the remaining shares in Tropical BioEnergia SA, taking BP’s total share to 100%. In the same year, BP expanded its investments significantly with the full acquisition of the Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer Companhia Nacional de Açúcar e Álcool (CNAA). BP is now an owner operator of three ethanol mills located in Goiás and Minas Gerais states in the country. Around 4000 people are currently employed across the mills and combined, the mills will supply Brazillian ethanol markets, with the potential to export to the demand markets of the US, Europe and Asia. 

Sustainable biofuels

BP’s Brazilian biofuel operations produce ethanol from locally grown sugar cane. Sugarcane is a sustainable biofuel feedstock. The agricultural land used for sugarcane cultivation related to all BP’s operations in Brazil is within the areas permitted under Brazil's proposed Agro-Ecological Zoning of Sugar cane (Zoneamento Agroecológico da Cana-de-açúcar).

Each mill will in time, sell surplus electricity back to the electricity grid thanks to their use of advanced cogeneration facilities that burn bagasse, a waste product of the sugarcane crushing process.