Marubeni Corporation, Japan’s fifth-largest trading company, is investing US$40 million to establish Agrenco Bio-Energia Ltda (ABE) in Brazil as a joint venture with Agrenco Group, a Brazilian grain trading company. ABE will produce biodiesel and soybean meal.
ABE plans to construct three biodiesel production plants and two soybean oil crushing plants in Mato Grosso (MT), Mato Grosso do Sul (MS) and Parana (PR) with a total biodiesel capacity of 400,000 tonnes (121 million gallons US) and soybean meal output of 1,000,000 tons per year. Targeted sales volume is 1 billion reals (US$480 million) for FY2009.
The MT and MS plants will produce biodiesel from soybean oil manufactured at their own crushing plants. In PR, ABE is building a biodiesel plant adjacent to an existing local crushing plant. The Agrenco Group has a nation-wide soybean network that will enables “advantageous” procurement of the feedstock, according to Marubeni.
Marubeni anticipates growing demand for biodiesel, not only in Europe, but also in Brazil. The Brazilian government announced a mandatory B2 blend (2% biodiesel) from 2008 and a minimum of 5% for 2013, but there are moves to bring the 5% goal forward to 2010.
Total investment in ABE is US$120 million, with Marubeni owning one-third, and Agrenco two-thirds.