• Ron Kotrba

Newly opened biodiesel plant in Brazil more than doubles JBS’s production capacity

The new JBS Biodiesel plant in Mafra, Santa Catarina, Brazil, is scaled at 98 mgy and more than doubles the company's total biodiesel production capacity. (Photo: JBS)

JBS Biodiesel has expanded its operations with a new biodiesel plant in the city of Mafra in Santa Catarina, Brazil.

With an investment of 180 million Brazilian reals (USD$33.4 million), the new plant doubles biodiesel production capacity of the company, a unit of JBS Novos Negócios.

The company says its new investment reinforces JBS’s circular-economy concept and is in line with the commitment to become net-zero by 2040.

The new plant, the third in operation by JBS Biodiesel, has a total area of 76,000 square meters and a production capacity of approximately 98 million gallons per year (mgy).

With the new plant in operation, JBS’s total biodiesel production capacity jumped from 92 mgy to around 190 mgy.

“Biofuels play an important role in the Brazilian energy matrix, and biodiesel has great growth potential in the country,” said Alexandre Pereira, the commercial director of JBS Biodiesel. “With this new investment, we reinforce the importance of the circular economy for our business and add value to the waste from our operations, contributing to sustainable development.”

The city of Mafra was chosen for having easy access to rail and road modes of transportation, its proximity to the Presidente Getúlio Vargas Refinery (Repar)—one of the main diesel-mixing and distribution units in the country—and quick access to the port of Paranaguá in Paraná, the third largest in Brazil.

The factory's operation is generating up to 400 direct and indirect jobs, benefiting the economy of the western region of Santa Catarina.

“To produce biodiesel in Mafra, JBS Biodiesel will use recovered frying oil and soybean oil from grain crushing as raw materials to produce bran that feeds poultry and swine,” the company stated. “With this, the company strengthens the diversification of raw-material sources, since it is currently the world's largest vertical producer of biodiesel from beef tallow.”

JBS Biodiesel’s decision to expand its presence in the biodiesel market is in line with JBS’s net-zero commitment, which aims to bring the balance of emissions related to its value chain to zero by 2040.

In addition to Mafra, the company has biodiesel facilities in Lins, São Paulo, Brazil, and Campo Verde, Mato Grosso, Brazil.

JBS first announced its decision to invest in the Mafra biodiesel facility in 2019.

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