The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) approved financing for the Usina Laguna sugar plant to generate renewable energy using sugarcane bagasse, expand storage capacity, increase the potential for grinding, and investments to increase and renew their cane field. With this project, the company will have 30 megawatts (MW) in production capacity – to supply the national integrated electricity system –, enough to supply 15,000 homes. In addition to increasing productivity and diversifying the plant’s sources of revenue, the investments will contribute to increasing sustainable biofuel production, maintaining energy security in Brazil and generating jobs in the region.
The synergy of the operation with the planning by BNDES is explained by the Head of BNDES’s Department of Agro-food and Biofuels Complex, Mauro Mattoso. “The supported project is in line with BNDES’s Triennial Plan, as it aims to increase productivity, competitiveness and employment, integrating innovation, exports, entrepreneurship and decarbonization by expanding and modernizing the plant.” The export to which the executive refers is the supply to the national integrated system – therefore, it does not characterize the supply of energy to other countries.
With headquarters in Batayporã, a municipality in the southwest of Mato Grosso do Sul, 313 km from Campo Grande, the Usina Laguna plant produces hydrated ethanol (used in fuel and in the pharmaceutical industry, for example) and currently employs about 660 employees – mostly residents of the municipality, which has just over 11,000 inhabitants. With BNDES funding, this number should be increased to 741 employees, contributing to regional development.
“BNDES support will be essential for the growth of Usina Laguna. These are significant investments in expanding our milling and ethanol production capacity, in addition to allowing to add cogeneration and export of electricity to our product portfolio”, said Romildo Cunha, commercial director of the plant.
The operation will also have a positive impact on the Brazilian industrial chain since the Bank’s resources will be used to purchase equipment of Brazilian manufactured technology.
The funding provided by BNDES will be R$ 80.2 million. The resources will be applied mostly (75%) in the expansion of the cane crushing capacity to up to 1.5 million tons/year, as well as in the storage of ethanol (from 30,000 to 50,000 m3) and in increasing the cogeneration capacity of sugarcane bagasse. A part of it will be invested in the renovation and expansion of 2,970 hectares of cane fields. We expect the electricity to start being made available in the Brazilian integrated electricity system in 2022.
“The project will also be important for us to promote the expansion of the sugar and energy sector and renewable energy in Mato Grosso do Sul by generating jobs, taxes and incentives to suppliers and local partners,” added Cunha.
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 Brazilian economy. Its actions are focused on 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 situations of crisis, BNDES acts in an anticyclical manner and assists in the formulation of solutions for the resumption of economic growth.