Japan invests $120m in ethanol plant

In the Philippines the province of San Mariano, Isabela, is to receive a $120 million (€86 million) investment for the construction of an ethanol plant.

The Japanese firm Itochu Corp. is behind the investment, while Green Future Innovations (GFI) will develop the project. GFI is a joint venture between Itochu, Japan-based JGC Corp., the Philippine Bioethanol and Energy Investments Corp. and the Taiwan-based holding firm GCO.

The project will see sugarcane planted across 11,000 hectares in San Mariano, creating jobs for roughly 15,000 farmers, in addition to a further 500 jobs in the new plant itself.

Once construction of the biofuel plant has finished in 2012 it will be the country’s largest ethanol production facility, manufacturing 54 million litres annually from 700,000 tonnes of sugarcane.

The plant has also been designed to generate 19MW of electricity from bagasse, 13MW of which will be sold to the National Grid.

‘Right now we import 100% of our fuel needs…Through partnerships like this we procure ethanol domestically and provide added value for the low-income Filipino farmers,’ commented the CEO of GFI Alexander Uy.

Erwin Co, the marketing consultant at GFI, said: ‘Among our other Asian prospects, the Philippines is the most advances in its implementation of a biofuels law. We are glad to be attuned to the market demand, especially as the mandated 5% blend of ethanol in gasoline mix will climb to 10% by next year.’

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