Paraguay President Mario Abdo Benítez has signed an agreement for the construction of a renewable diesel plant that will be producing fuel from soyabean oil extracted with renewable hexane, animal fats and used cooking oil.
The memorandum of understanding was signed on 25 February with Erasmo Carlos Battistella, president of Brazilian investment holding company ECB Group, to continue the group’s investments in Paraguay, Biodiesel Magazine reported.
ECB’s largest investment was the US$800M Omega Green renewable diesel complex, South America’s first second-generation biofuels project of its kind, according to ECB.
The plant would be capable of producing up to 693,000 gallons/day (2.6M litres) of renewable diesel and synthetic paraffinic kerosene, mostly destined for export markets such as the Europe and the USA.
The hydrogen required for the renewable diesel hydro-treatment process would come through electrolysis of water with Germany-based ThyssenKrupp technology.
Crown Iron Works would supply soyabean processing design and equipment, including oil extraction and treatment, and Honeywell’s UOP would supply a modular hydro-treatment plant for the facility.
The entire complex would be fuelled by renewable energy and would feature steam generation from biomass and the treatment of all wastes and by-products, Biodiesel Magazine said.
“Our goal is to have the most clean and renewable biofuel production possible, unique in the world, certified by the most rigorous international quality and sustainability criteria,” Battistella said.
He added that Paraguay had a significant supply of energy and water for hydrogen production, growth potential of the soyabean crop, supply of other raw materials for biofuels and a very favourable business and logistics environment.
The Omega Green plant would be built on the banks of the Paraguay River, with a logistics port and terminal. It was expected to add more than US$8bn to the estimated gross domestic product of Paraguay over 10 years and benefit around 10,000 small farmers with added soyabean demand.
ECB aimed to start plant construction this year, which was expected to last 30 months, with full production projected in 2022, Biodiesel Magazine said.