WASHINGTON, April 14, 2016 - The Summit Agriculture Group, headquartered in Alden, Iowa, has broken ground on what will be Brazil’s first dedicated corn ethanol plant.
Summit says the $115 million facility will be the most modern and efficient ethanol plant in the world, and, when fully operational by mid-2017, will employ nearly 90 people and produce 60 million gallons of ethanol annually for domestic markets.
Summit founder and CEO Bruce Rastetter said the plant will help Brazil offset its “increasing demand for domestic ethanol, which can’t be met by the existing sugarcane ethanol production” and “introduce valuable high fiber and high protein co-products (into the region), which will serve as high-value feed for the Brazilian livestock industry.”
“Through Summit’s expertise in sustainable agriculture, investment and renewable energy, we will further realize the enormous corn growing potential of a region that is poised to become a global leader in corn ethanol production,” Rastetter added. The plant is located in Lucas do Rio Verde in the west-central state of Mato Grosso – the country’s largest producer of corn and soybeans.
Summit is partnering with Fiagril – a biodiesel production company that also deals in grain trading, crop inputs and infrastructure development in Brazil – and Kansas-based ICM, which develops equipment and processes used in ethanol plants.
Marino Franz, founder of Fiagril, said “Mato Grosso has set the standards for Brazilian agriculture and business development for years, and thanks to this effort, the region will grow to new heights in the area of renewable fuels.”
Brazil produces 25 percent of the world’s ethanol today with sugar cane, and is scheduled to produce about 8.1 billion gallons of the fuel this year. By adding corn ethanol production to the mix, Bank of America estimates annual ethanol sales from the country would reach 13.5 billion gallons by 2022.
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