Argentina stimulates ethanol use in fuel

by Dave

Before coming to Argentina, I did not even know they produced sugar. Brazil is LatAm’s powerhouse in sugar. Two weeks ago I was in Tucuman, Northern Argentina (Amazingly, Sikhs immigrated to NW Argentina, in the 1910s) – the center for sugar production. I smelled the odor of processed sugarcane while driving down the highway from the various “Ingenios Azucareros” or Sugarcane processing mills. I think that Tucuman province’s potential is underexploited, and there is huge opportunity for Indian sugar companies to invest in that region. Tucuman is the referred to as  “El Jardin de la Republica” – The Garden of the Republic of Argentina. There are farms spreading for kilometers all around with low population density – probably less than 2 per square kilometer. A huge difference from the super densely populated sugarcane-growing regions in Western U.P.

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A 2007 law already required Argentines to use a 5% fuel mix of either biodiesel or ethanol starting in 2010. De Vido’s announcement shifts the law in favour of sugar-based ethanol.

De Vido said the move is part of a national biofuels promotion program aimed at boosting the production and use of clean and renewable energy.

The planning minister said as part of this program companies will invest more than $500 million in northern sugar-producing provinces.

De Vido said Argentina will initially produce 300 million litres of ethanol annually but that will rise to more than 600 million a year.

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