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Brazilian and Canadian ethanol firms join up to advance cellulosic biofuels

Raízen and Iogen project includes biomass-to-ethanol plant and marks first step towards commercialising cellulosic biofuels in Brazil

The investment will include a plant to convert biomass to biofuels in Brazil

Brazilian and Canadian ethanol firms have joined up to develop cellulosic biofuel technology in the BRIC country. Raízen Group, the world's largest producer of sugarcane ethanol, and Canada’s Iogen Energy, operator of the world's longest running cellulosic ethanol facility, have committed an initial investment to develop a commercial cellulosic ethanol project in Brazil.

The investment marks the first step toward the commercialisation of cellulosic biofuels technology in Brazil. It will cover the development and engineering costs associated with the front end design of a biomass-to-ethanol facility to be co-located with Raízen's Costa Pinto facility in Piracicaba, São Paulo.

The deal comes after Raízen conducted a thorough review of cellulosic technologies and concluded that Iogen is the company with the most advanced technology ready for commercialisation at Raízen's sugar cane ethanol facilities.

Vasco Dias, CEO of Raízen, said: "We believe Iogen has one of the most robust, well proven, and competitive technologies in the cellulosic ethanol business. This is a first step in our strategy to make cellulosic ethanol in association with sugar cane production operations. We see tremendous potential for this technology in meeting the world's growing demand for cleaner and more sustainable fuels.”
 
"We're excited to be working with a major ethanol industry player like Raízen" said Iogen chairman Brian Foody. "Large scale commercialisation in Brazil will open the door for broader commercialization of our technology."