July 21, 2024
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BP Eyes Biofuel Expansion in Brazil with New Ventures

BP Plc is set to expand and diversify its biofuel operations in Brazil after fully acquiring the BP Bunge Bioenergia joint venture from Bunge.

The British oil giant aims to develop new products such as second-generation ethanol and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), leveraging the venture’s extensive biofuel base.

According to Reuters, BP intends to utilize the venture’s massive biofuel base in Brazil.

The industrial complex consists of 11 plants across five states in Brazil, processing sugarcane. BP sees this as a key asset in supporting its broader bioenergy goals.

The Brazil complex “is a scalable bioenergy platform with cost advantages,” BP stated. “We will seek to explore new growth opportunities in the region and develop new bioenergy platforms, such as next-generation ethanol, SAF, e-fuels, and biogas.”

BP’s strategy mirrors the approach taken by Shell which partnered with Brazilian sugar and ethanol giant Cosan to form Raizen SA. Raizen is developing the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol program, a type of second-generation ethanol.

“Good biofuels—those that actually help achieve emissions savings—are still seen as having an important role to play,” said biofuels expert Soren Jansen, a former executive at Brazil’s Copersucar.

Jansen noted that the alcohol-to-jet fuel supply chain is costly to establish, but oil companies’ deep pockets accelerate the process with initial projects in Brazil, the U.S., Europe, and Japan.

Raizen opened its second 2G ethanol plant in May, producing fuel from biomass residues of processed sugarcane. This fuel has 80% less carbon than gasoline.

BP’s plans to focus on ethanol and other biofuels contrast with most sugarcane processors in Brazil, who have shifted toward producing more sugar due to higher international prices.

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