Work has begun on the construction of Grupo Potencial’s new soyabean crushing plant in Lapa, in the Brazilian state of Paraná, Biofuels Digest reported.

The first phase of the work would involve an investment of R$1.7bn (US$349M) to expand biodiesel production, the 3 July report said.

Traditionally active in the fuel, energy and transport sectors and one of Brazil’s leading biodiesel producers, the new facility marked Grupo Potencial’s entry into the soyabean sector, Biofuels Digest wrote.

The soyabean crush plant would be built at Grupo Potencial’s industrial complex, in Lapa, next to the company’s biodiesel plant, which was the largest in Brazil and the third largest in the world, Biofuels Digest wrote.

With a soyabean processing capacity of around 3,500 tonnes/day or 1.15M tonnes/year from 2025, the new plant was due to be operational 18 months after the start of construction, the report said.

The complex would include two silos – each with a capacity to store150,000 tonnes of soyabeans – and another 100,000 tonne silo to store bran – the fibre from soyabean hulls – which would be sold in domestic and foreign markets for use in the production of feed and other products.

The project would also include the construction of a rail terminal to connect the industrial plant with the railway line to the Port of Paranaguá, the report said.