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“New phase” for Brazilian sugarcane ethanol, beyond use as a transport fuel, to be highlighted at World Biofuels Market 2011


08 Mar 2011


Trade & Society

Brussels, March 08, 2011 – The positive contributions of sugarcane ethanol in helping Brazil to diversify its energy matrix while protecting the environment and driving economic growth will be presented by the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) at the 2011 edition of the World Biofuels Markets event. The conference will take place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, from 22 March to 24 March 2011.


With attendance levels currently 12.6% higher than in previous editions, the World Biofuels Markets conference and exhibition is widely regarded as leading European event where the biofuels industry meets to do business. To date, more than 900 representatives from the world’s leading biofuels companies are expected to converge at the event. UNICA has been an active participant since 2008.


The Senior International Affairs Advisor to the President of UNICA, Geraldine Kutas, points out that we currently live in a world of rising energy demand, decreasing energy supplies and rising concerns about climate change: “Thirty-five years after the introduction of the ProAlcool programme, Brazil is the world's second largest producer of ethanol and has one of the cleanest energy matrixes in the world, where renewable energy makes up close to 50% of the mix. Sugarcane alone accounts for close to one fifth of Brazil’s entire energy matrix.”


Kutas adds that thanks to the increased sales of flex fuel vehicles - which can run on ethanol, gasoline, or any blend of the two – sugarcane ethanol has now replaced half of the country’s gasoline needs. “All of that has been made possible by using just 1.5% of Brazil’s arable land,” she explained.


During the three-day conference, participants will be able to learn more about the Brazilian sugarcane industry at UNICA’s exhibition booth, where literature with detailed information about the industry and its social and environmental advances will be provided. UNICA will also offer video sessions with its Virtual Mill, an interactive, high-definition multimedia tool that covers all production stages for sugar and ethanol, from harvest to distribution of finished products.


The new uses and new technologies involving ethanol and other sugarcane by-products will also be presented at UNICA’s booth. “Today, ethanol is moving to a new phase, beyond its use in transportation, to new uses such as resins, fine chemicals and ‘green’ plastics production, in which ethanol is used rather than fossil fuels. Most importantly, these new sugarcane by-products make an important and direct contribution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”, concludes Kutas, who has been invited to take part in a roundtable discussion on the opportunities and challenges for the global ethanol market.


UNICA’s presence at the WBM 2011 in Rotterdam was made possible by the UNICA/Apex-Brasil project, a partnership launched in January of 2008 and renewed in September of 2010 between the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association and the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency, within the Federal Development, Industry and International Trade Ministry. The main objective of the partnership is to promote Brazilian sugarcane ethanol throughout the world as a clean, renewable energy source.



The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) represents the top producers of sugar and ethanol in the country's South-Central region, especially the state of Sao Paulo, which accounts for about 60% of the country's sugarcane harvest and of total ethanol production. UNICA develops position papers, statistics and specific research in support of Brazil's sugar, ethanol and bioelectricity sectors. In 2010, Brazil produced an estimated 620 million metric tonnes of sugarcane, which yielded 37.8 million tonnes of sugar and 27.4 billion litres of ethanol, making it the number-one sugarcane grower and sugar producer in the world, and the second-largest ethanol producer on the planet, behind the United States.



Amandine de Coster /+32 2 894 90 17/


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