Novozymes to supply first advanced biofuels factory in Brazil

Brazilian bioenergy company GraalBio to construct commercial scale cellulosic ethanol facility in Brazil by 2013. Novozymes looks to establish new enzyme manufacturing plants in Brazil and has begun search for possible locations.

23. May 2012
Today, GraalBio announced plans to start production in December 2013 of 82 million liters (22 million gallons) of advanced biofuels per year at a new factory in the Brazilian state of Alagoas. The plant will produce cellulosic ethanol from sugarcane bagasse and straw, and Novozymes will supply the necessary enzyme technology while Beta Renewables and Chemtex, both part of Italian chemical group Mossi & Ghisolfi (M&G), will provide other process technologies and engineering.

“This facility will mark a milestone in Brazil and in Latin America,” says Bernardo Gradin, CEO of GraalBio. “We are talking about a world class project with innovative technology solutions that will help build a better and safer planet.”

“Today’s announcement from GraalBio is fantastic news for the ethanol industry and for Brazil and it clearly signals the continuation of the green path Brazil has taken on biofuels,” says Peder Holk Nielsen, Executive Vice President of Novozymes. “We are thrilled to supply the enzymes to the first advanced biofuels facility in Brazil and proud to help GraalBio succeed.”

New enzyme production in Brazil
Advanced biofuels in the form of cellulosic ethanol is produced from biomass such as energy crops, agricultural residues or industrial and household waste. Enzymes are a key component of the production process, turning the biomass into sugar which can be fermented into ethanol.

As the advanced biofuels industry in Brazil scales up over the coming years, demand for enzymes is expected to follow and Novozymes has therefore begun searching for locations for new enzyme manufacturing plants in Brazil.

“The advanced biofuels industry is taking off in Brazil and we remain confident that cellulosic ethanol will play a significant role in Brazil’s energy future,” says Peder Holk Nielsen. “To support this, we are looking to establish new enzyme production facilities in Brazil, dedicated to making enzymes for the biofuels industry. The location of new plants will, among other things, depend on where the industry is expected to scale up, where Novozymes’ partners are located, and where the best framework conditions exist.”

Paving the way for a profitable green technology
The demand for ethanol is growing both in Brazil and globally. Brazil expects to double its output of ethanol by 2020 to meet the growing demand from both domestic and export markets.

Global production capacity of advanced biofuels is expected to reach 57 million liters (15 million gallons) in 2012 and for 2014, 945 million liters (250 million gallons) are under planned construction. A recent study from Bloomberg new Energy Finance estimates that the advanced biofuels industry has the potential to create jobs, economic growth, and energy security.

Looking at Brazil alone, the study shows that using less than 20% of the available agricultural residues (excluding energy crops) Brazil could produce 170 billion liters (45 billion gallons) of ethanol every year by 2030, replacing 83% of its annual gasoline consumption. Brazilian companies would be the major beneficiaries from a $94 billion domestic engineering, construction and feedstock market and the creation of 1.25 million jobs.

Join Novozymes’ seminar on Advanced Biofuels in Sao Paulo, May 29
Earlier this year, Novozymes introduced a new enzyme – Cellic® CTec3 – which decreases costs and increases yields for producers of cellulosic ethanol. Highly effective it takes only 50 kg of the enzyme to make 1 ton of ethanol in the most efficient processes. By comparison it requires at least 250 kg of a standard enzyme product to make the same amount of ethanol.

To mark the launch of Cellic Ctec3 in Latin America, Novozymes will host a seminar on May 29 to discuss the path towards commercialization of advanced biofuels. The seminar will feature speakers from M&G, the Brazilian Development Bank and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The seminar will take place at Bourbon Ibirapuera Hotel in São Paulo, 2-6pm local time. For more information please email aaov@novozymes.com.

About GraalBio
GraalBio is a company of Graal Investments Corporation Group, a holding company of the Gradin Family.

Founded on July 13th of 2011, the company was created with the vision of providing a green revolution, capable of converting the real potential of Brazilian biomass in energy wealth.