In an unprecedented initiative in the Southern Hemisphere, ECB Group and the Government of Paraguay come together to produce advanced biofuels
Asunción, Paraguay, February 25, 2019 - The Paraguayan government and the ECB Group, an investment holding company of Brazilian entrepreneur Erasmo Carlos Battistella, signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday, February 25 to continue the group`s investments in the country. The largest of them, the Omega Green complex, worth more than $ 800 million, will house the first second-generation renewable fuels plant in the Southern Hemisphere. It will be produced renewable diesel (HVO) and renewable kerosene (Synthetic Paraffinic kerosene or SPK) for civil and military aviation, with potential for attracting international capital and adding to the estimated GDP of Paraguay more than $ 8 billion over a decade.
The Omega Green will have a daily production capacity of up to 16,500 barrels of diesel and renewable kerosene, enough to meet more than a third of Paraguayan consumption of fossil diesel. Most of this production will be exported to countries that are signatories of the Paris Agreement, which need to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by replacing oil products. This decrease in diesel imports and higher exports of higher value-added products will have a very positive impact on Paraguay`s trade balance.
The industrial complex will generate more than 3,000 jobs during its construction and 2,400 direct and indirect jobs during the operation, in addition to increasing income for local farmers. Altogether, more than 10 thousand families will benefit, through programs of social certification of the family production.
In a meeting at the Palacio de Los López, Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo Benítez stated that the government will give all possible support to the project and highlighted how much the country has been working to facilitate investments that promote economic and social growth. Mario Abdo Benítez said that Paraguay`s strategy is to be a reference in logistics and environment conducive to investment
World reference in sustainability
Omega Green is innovative not only for introducing renewable fuels in the Southern Hemisphere, but mainly for the production process that makes it an unparalleled enterprise in terms of sustainability. Its production will have as main inputs only organic and renewable products, such as soybean oil produced in areas without environmental liabilities and obtained through the extraction with the use of renewable hexane, recycled animal fat, recycled cooking oil and hydrogen totally obtained through the electrolysis of water, not by natural gas reform. The complex will be powered exclusively by renewable energy.
\"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,\" says ECB Group President Erasmo Carlos Battistella. According to the businessman, one of the largest biodiesel producers in Brazil and with two decades of activity in the agricultural and renewable energy sectors, Paraguay has unique conditions for economic viability and the sustainability of the project. \"It is a country with a significant supply of energy and water for hydrogen production, growth potential of the soybean crop, supply of other raw materials for biofuels and a very favorable business and logistics environment,\" explains Erasmo Carlos Battistella.
Unpublished technological pole in South America
The entire industrial structure of the complex will be provided by world leaders in supplying these technologies and equipment, such as Crown Iron Works in extraction and treatment of vegetable oils, ThyssenKrupp in electrolysis and Honeywell UOP in hydrotreatment in a unique development on the continent.
In addition to providing an annual reduction of 1.3 billion tonnes in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by replacing fossil fuels, Omega Green will have solutions designed specifically to strengthen sustainability, such as generating steam from biomass and the treatment of all wastes and by-products, making the complex fully sustainable and certifiable in the strictest international protocols. The unit will be installed on the banks of the Paraguay River and will have a logistic port and port terminal, with flow of production by waterway.
\"Today is a very important day. We conclude the feasibility studies of Omega Green and go to the second phase, the stage of the executive project. We want to start the works still in 2019, \"says Battistella. The implementation of the plant is expected to last 30 months, and the intention is to have full productive capacity from 2022.