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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Bolivian officials supervise final construction phase of state-owned biodiesel plant

Photo: Bolivia's Ministry of Hydrocarbons and Energy

The Bolivian government announced Jan. 8 that executives of the state-owned oil company Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos and the country’s minister of hydrocarbons and energy, Franklin Molina, supervised the final stage of construction on “Biodiesel Plant 1,” a 23-million-gallon-per-year (mgy) biodiesel production facility at the Guillermo Elder Bell Refinery in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.


The project is being executed by the Bolivian government within a framework of industrialization and import-substitution policies.


Bolivia's Biodiesel Plant 1 (Photo: Bolivia's Ministry of Hydrocarbons and Energy)

The Bolivian government said Biodiesel Plant 1 marks a significant milestone in the promotion of the country’s energy industry.


“We have made great progress,” Molina said. “A good part of the civil works have been completed, the mechanical assembly and the electrical system are under development at the YPFB Refinación facilities.”


Molina said that once Biodiesel Plant 1 comes into operation, sustained biodiesel production is guaranteed.


The minister added that the Bolivian government has directed its attention towards the country’s productive sector, specifically agriculture, considering it strategic for import substitution.


“This measure not only seeks to strengthen economic autonomy, but also has the positive effect of generating employment, boosting the industry and adding value to sustainable products,” the government stated. “The completion of these projects will result in a significant reduction in the foreign currency used to purchase diesel.”


The second project, Biodiesel Plant 2, located in El Alto, is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.


Molina also referred to the renewable diesel plant—also being built at the Guillermo Elder Bell Refinery in Santa Cruz—with a production capacity of approximately 130 mgy.


“The relevance of these projects lies in their connection with various crops grown as raw materials from vegetable oils such as macororó, palm and soy, among others,” stated the Bolivian government. “The project also includes the recycling of cooking oil.”



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