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GuySuCo commissions “demo” ethanol plant

President Donald Ramotar and officials tour the bioethanol plant.

The Guyana Sugar Corporation on Tuesday commissioned a GUY$85M Bioethanol Demonstration Plant at its Albion Estate, Berbice.

CEO Paul Bhim said the facility, partly funded by the IDB to the tune of GUY$67M, would be used for training and not commercial purposes.

“This plant will operate 32 weeks a year, it cannot operate more than that because it needs steam from the factory and if the factory is not operational it wouldn’t get any steam. Really it’s just a stepping stone for greater things later on and will be particularly used for training,” he said.

Bhim noted that ethanol production was part of GuySuCo’s Strategic Plan which was being finalised.

“Whatever is produced from it is going to break even basically. We’re going to use the ethanol in our vehicles at the MoA (Ministry of Agriculture) and the estate and the alcohol is going to be used in our factories,” he added.

That will be a 90 percent gasoline to 10 percent ethanol (E10) blend with the CEO saying the equipment to produce it would be installed soon.

The plant has the capacity to produce 1,000 litres of ethanol per day with some 250 litres being extracted from one tonne of low grade molasses. 

The main objectives of the plant were identified as to demonstrate the production of fuel-grade ethanol locally, to provide a source for that fuel and to provide training for local personnel in bio-fuel technologies. Installation was done by Green Biorefineries of Brazil and Whitefox Technologies Ltd. of Canada.

President Donald Ramotar and Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy were among the dozens gathered for Tuesday’s event.