Nov 22, 2021

FS Bioenergia to Expand Corn Ethanol Production in Mato Grosso

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

FS Bioenergia is Brazil's first and largest corn ethanol producer. The company has two facilities operating in Mato Grosso in the cities of Lucas do Rio Verde and Sorriso and they have started construction on a third facility in the city of Primavera do Leste in southeastern Mato Grosso. They also announced their intention to build three more corn ethanol facilities in Mato Grosso by 2026.

Work has already started on the facility in Primavera do Leste which should be operational in 2023. The company will invest R$ 2.3 billion (approximately $426 million using an exchange rate of 5.4 Brazilian real per U.S. dollar) and the facility will have the capacity to produce 585 million liters of ethanol per year. With site preparation already underway, the company has started to contract corn purchases for next year.

Their two existing facilities have the combined capacity to produce 1.4 billion liters of ethanol per year. When the Primavera do Leste facility comes online, the company will be one of the four largest ethanol producers in Brazil with the capacity to produce 2 billion liters of ethanol per year. After the three other planned facilities are operational, their annual ethanol production will be approximately 5 billion liters, or potentially as much as 16% or more of Brazil's total ethanol production.

The company is also making a major investment in sustainability. In 2021, the company announced a system of Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage - BECCS (Bioenergia com Captura e Estocagem de Carbono). The new system will be installed at their Lucas do Rio Verde facility. The carbon will be injected 3 kilometers underground into rock structures within a 5-kilometer radius of the facility and it will be monitored long term.

Initial cost of the carbon capture program is R$ 250 million (approximately $46 million) and it will eliminate an estimated 400,000 tons of carbon annually. FS Bioenergia announced that they are pioneers in the field of RenovaBio and the first in Brazil with such a system.

Imea estimated that 19% of Mato Grosso's 2021 corn production would be utilized for ethanol production and that number is certain to increase in the years ahead. Mato Grosso is Brazil's largest corn exporting state, but more and more of the corn produced in the state is being utilized for ethanol production.

FS Bioenergia is a joint venture between Tapajos Participacoes S/A from Brazil and Summit Agricultural Group from the United States.