Cargill and Grupo USJ form 50/50 JV

In Brazil, Cargill, a global trader of sugar and ethanol, and Grupo USJ, a company dedicated to the sugarcane industry, have formed a 50/50 joint venture, SJC Bioenergia.

The new JV brings together two of Grupo USJ's sugarcane mills, both located in the state of Goiás: its Quirinópolis-based São Francisco mill and the Cachoeira Dourada mill, which is currently under construction.

When the Cachoeira Dourada facility is completed, SJC Bioenergia will handle around 7.5 million tonnes of sugarcane.

Today, these two mills produce 170 million litres of ethanol and 420,000 tonnes of sugar from 5 million tonnes of sugarcane. When its crushing capacity increases to 7.5 million tonnes in 2013, SJC Bioenergia will manufacture an additional 200 million litres of ethanol.

As well as producing ethanol and sugar, SJC Bioenergia will convert the sugarcane bagasse into 350,000MW of renewable electricity, over 33% of which will be domestically consumed. The remaining two thirds will be sold to the national grid. This will increase by an extra 200,000MW by 2013.

Additionally, the new company will take over existing supply agreements with the local farmers who provide sugarcane to its two mills.

'Our plans to expand the Cachoeira Dourada and São Francisco mills in the following years will enable us t double crushing capacity to 15 million tonnes of sugarcane,' says SJC Bioenergia's director Ingo Kalder. 'We will do this by adding modules of 2.5 million tonnes every two years. This will place SJC Bioenergia among the largest producers of sugar and ethanol in Brazil.'

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