The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) approved a R$ 941.6 million loan to Grupo São Martinho S.A. for a series of investments in its plants, located in cities of São Paulo and Goiás. The group will build a new corn-ethanol plant at the Boa Vista Plant (UBV – Usina Boa Vista) and grain storage silos. The support is also for a new thermoelectric plant powered by sugarcane bagasse, UTE São Martinho Bioenergia, and the modernization of other thermoelectric power plants to increase energy cogeneration, a process in which the generated steam – from the burning of bagasse in the boiler – produces electricity through turbo generators.
Located in Quirinópolis (Goiás state), UBV, which already produces ethanol from sugarcane, will start producing the fuel from corn in its industrial park. The mills have installed capacity of up to 209,000 m3 of ethanol and about 140,000 tons of DDG (by-product of corn distillation, which is marketed as animal feed of higher nutritional value).
The project has innovative characteristics, such as promoting the energy integration of a corn-ethanol plant with an existing sugarcane plant. The silos will be capable of storing 239,000 tons of corn used in biofuel production. UBV will also receive expansion and modernization investments, raising annual production of yeast (raw material for producing animal feed) from 1,000 to 8,500 tons.
The plant UTE São Martinho Bioenergia will be built in the industrial complex, located in the city of Pradópolis (SP); it will have a capacity of 40 MW of energy from biomass (sugarcane bagasse, residue of sugar and ethanol manufacturing process) and can sell on the market up to 210,000 MWh/year. The project will allow the expansion of 22% of the power cogeneration of the São Martinho plant, which has two other thermoelectric power plants. The energy generated by the plant will also supply the consumption of the other plants in the complex.
Investments will also be made in innovation, which will bring efficiency gains in the production processes of the Santa Cruz plant in Américo Brasiliense and the Iracema plant in Iracemápolis, both in state of São Paulo.
The positive impacts that the interventions will bring to the national economy deserve to be emphasized, such as the high investments in machinery and equipment of Brazilian manufacturers and in the economy of the cities, located in microregions far from the large metropolitan centers.
The R$ 941.6 million loan represents 79% of the total investment (R$ 1.2 billion). The projects are expected to be fully implemented by 2026.
These initiatives are aligned with BNDES’s actions in financing ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) projects. “The support of São Martinho projects meets the demands of Brazilian society, such as decarbonization of the economy, environmental care and incentive to improve productivity through innovation, combined with the generation of employment and income from the productive activities of the sugar-energy sector,” said Petrônio Cançado, Managing Director of the Credit and Guarantee Division.
About BNDES – Founded in 1952 and currently linked to the Ministry of Economy, BNDES is the main instrument of the Federal Government to promote long-term investments in the Brazilian economy. BNDES’s actions focus on the socioenvironmental and economic impact in Brazil. BNDES offers special conditions for micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, as well as social investment lines, directed at education and health, family agriculture, sanitation and urban transport. In crisis situations, BNDES acts in an anticyclical manner and assists in formulating solutions for resuming economic growth.
São Martinho Group – Grupo São Martinho operates in the sugar-energy sector and has as main economic activities the planting of sugarcane, the production and trade of sugar, ethanol and other derivatives, in addition to the cogeneration and commercialization of electricity generated from sugarcane. The company is publicly traded and began trading its shares in Bovespa (current B3) in 2007 and operates in the Novo Mercado, which includes companies of the highest degree of corporate governance. It currently employs 12,500 people.