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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Be8 expands biodiesel capacity in Marialva, Brazil, prepares to add soybean-crush facility


Photo: Be8

Be8, the biodiesel company formerly known as BSBios, announced in mid-June that it has just expanded the installed biodiesel production capacity in Marialva, Paraná, Brazil, for the sixth time, by more than 15 percent.

The company’s biodiesel production capacity at the site is now nearly 143 million gallons per year.

Be8 and the state government of Paraná have also signed a memorandum of understanding to enable investments in a soy-crush facility in Marialva, to be located at its biodiesel site.

The strategic position of a new crush facility in the already existing biodiesel complex in Marialva is ideal to supply with more soybean oil the growing market demand for biodiesel in Brazil, with the increase of the mandatory blend from 10 percent to 12 percent this spring, which should reach B15 by 2026.

The new soybean plant will have a processing capacity of 5,000 tons per day to produce oil, meal and soy hulls.

The company estimates that the investment could reach 1.5 billion Brazilian reals (USD$310.5 million), but this value will now be formatted in the stage following the signature of the protocol.

The soy meal and hulls will be sold into the feed industry and the oil will be used as biodiesel feedstock.

When it reaches full operating capacity, Be8 said soy consumption will be “85,000 bags per day,” mostly from Paraná suppliers.

“This important investment, in addition to boosting the economy of Marialva and the region even further, will place Paraná in a more prominent place in the production of biodiesel,” said Carlos Massa Ratinho Junior, the governor of Paraná. “We are becoming a reference in terms of sustainability and clean energy. There are more jobs and income for people from Paraná, respecting the environment and promoting the growth of our economy in a sustainable way.”

Erasmo Carlos Battistella, president of Be8, added, “With this announcement, we are following our growth strategy in Brazil, expanding our structure in the biodiesel and food-production chain, fulfilling our role of positively transforming the energy scenario and making sustainable deliveries for people, businesses and the planet, generating jobs and development for the country.”

The new venture will encourage the creation of at least 100 direct jobs and approximately 2,000 indirect ones, in addition to the movement of around 1,200 jobs that will be generated from the beginning of the work and last for a construction period of at least 24 months.

In addition to the agreement with the state of Paraná, another letter of intent was signed with the city of Marialva dealing with municipal-tax aspects of the investment.

“Marialva can only thank Be8 for trusting us to settle and grow here,” said Mayor Victor Martini. “It is a great source of pride for us.”

Battistella added, “The crusher project had been in the company’s planning for some time, and we accelerated investments due to the resumption of mixing mandates.”

Construction is expected to begin in the next six months.

The crusher will have a system for treating residues from soy processing (proteinated), cooling towers, a biomass-boiler park, a new transmission line and 138kV electric-power substation, storage and shipment of soy bran by road and railway, connecting the unit to the port of Paranaguá.

According to an economic impact study carried out by the Economic Research Institute Foundation (FIPE), Be8 was responsible for 44 percent of Marialva’s gross domestic product.

Part of ECB Group, Be8 is currently the largest biodiesel producer in Brazil. In addition to Marialva, it has another biodiesel production unit in Passo Fundo, Rondônia, where its head office is also located.

The company has a presence in two other countries. In Switzerland, it produces biodiesel from used cooking oil (UCO) and in Paraguay, the company purchased the La Paloma complex for soybean crushing and biodiesel production. Also in Paraguay, the Omega Green project continues, which will produce renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.

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