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Ethanol plant in works

marciadottin, [email protected]

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BARBADOS NATIONAL OIL COMPANY LTD (BNOCL) is set to establish Barbados’ first ethanol plant within the next 18 months to refine wet ethanol for export to North America.Acting general manager of BNOCL Winton Gibbs told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY on Wednesday, “The strategy is to become an energy company,” as he indicated that the company was also pursuing other alternative energy enterprises that included the manufacture of biodiesel and the importationand sale of natural gas.He said BNOCL had already signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Barbados Cane Industry Corporation regarding the ethanol plant.“We plan to import wet ethanol from Brazil, process it here and export the dry ethanol to North America, and we will reserve a local portion. “We expect to be up and running within 18 months, and BNOCL would also add ethanol to gasolene sold here to create a cleaner form of fuel,” he said.Wet ethanol is ethanol containing water, while dry ethanol has all water removed from it.He explained that BNOCL was currently discussing with the Ministry of Housing the possible use of a location in Fairy Valley, Christ Church, where the oil company had an existing storage facility and an application had already been made to Town Planning for construction of the plant there.On the likely cost of the plant, Gibbs said, “We have invited tenders for construction and are still in that process. The funding is still being discussed, but is likely to be acquired by long-term loans.”He also pointed to another MOU, with American biodiesel producer AMELOT Corporation, for local production of biodiesel that would lead to a 20 per cent cut in diesel currently imported from Trinidad and Tobago.“BNOCL is committed to a partnership with the National Petroleum Corporation to import natural gas by pipeline from Trinidad and Tobago and it is expected that the first shipment will land in 2013. “BNOCL will purchase the natural gas from BP Trinidad and Tobago and transport it by pipeline via [the] Eastern Caribbean Gas Pipeline Company,” Gibbs added. (SR)

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