Maple Energy continues with ethanol project

In northern Peru work is ongoing with Maple Energy's ethanol project and the ethanol company expects commercial operations to begin in the second half of 2011.

Costing an estimated $254 million (€180.6 million), the greenfield project, which includes main water delivery and drip irrigation systems, comprises an ethanol production plant and a 7,800-hectare sugarcane plantation in the first phase.

The plant will produce up to 35 million gallons a year of ethanol from 5,000 tonnes a day of sugarcane provided by the plantation.

A power plant will also be built on the site, generating 37MW that will supply all of the project's power requirements. The excess power, expected to be around 17MW, will be sold to the Peruvian national power grid. A 37km 60kV electric transmission line will connect the facilities of the ethanol project to the power grid.

Third party operated and owned ethanol storage, loading and shipping facility are to be constructed near the Port of Paita.

7,600 of the 7,800 hectares of first-phase sugarcane plantation needed to supply feedstock to the plant have already been cleared. Primary and secondary seed cane farms totalling 345 hectares have already been developed and Maple began planting commercial sugarcane on the main estate in early January 2011. Approximately 986 hectares of sugarcane was planted on the main estate between January and February and Maple is looking to plant around 550 additional hectares of the main estate in March.

Speaking about Maple Energy's current developments Rex Canon, CEO of Maple Energy, says: 'I am delighted by the progress that the company has made since we last updated the market with news of our exciting ethanol project two months ago. We remain on track to deliver commercial production of ethanol in the second half of 2011.'

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