Jan 05, 2024

Corn Accounts for More Than 20% of Brazil's Ethanol Production

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

Brazil's newest corn ethanol facility in Brazil started operations on January 1, 2024 in the city of Maracaju in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. The facility represented an investment of R$ 1.08 billion (approximately $220 million) by Cerradinho Bioenrgia. The facility has the annual capacity to produce 266 million liters of ethanol, 161,000 tons of dry distillers' grain, 10,000 tons of corn oil, and generate 10 GWh of electricity.

Brazil now has 22 facilities that utilize corn to produce ethanol. Ten of those facilities utilize only corn to produce ethanol and 12 are flex facilities that can produce ethanol from sugarcane and/or corn. The flex facilities utilize corn to continue operating during the summer rainy season when sugarcane is not available. Corn ethanol now represents more than 20% of the total ethanol produced in Brazil.

According to the president of the National Corn Ethanol Union (Unem), which represents more than 90% of the installed corn ethanol capacity, the new facility solidifies Brazil's commitment to produce sustainable biofuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The new facility took 18 months to complete and it generated 4,500 construction jobs. It is expected to generate 200 permanent jobs and 600 indirect jobs and contribute significantly to the local economy. These corn ethanol facilities also support local corn prices for farmers in the region.

Corn ethanol production in Brazil started in July of 2017 in the city of Lucas do Rio Verde in the state of Mato Grosso with the opening of the first facility that utilizes only corn to produce ethanol.