José María Ibáñez, the Paraguayan minister of industry and commerce, announced the country's plans to produce and export biofuels in a joint-venture with Brazil, during a Biofuel Seminar held in the capital city, Asunción, this week. Both countries signed an agreement memorandum with the purpose of promoting agrofuels with Brazil as the technology supplier.

Paraguay is just in the experimentation phase before massive production starts in order to become as energy independent as possible. The plans are both for ethanol and biodiesel. Up to now, only 20 companies produce vegetable-sourced fuels.

The ethanol production target for this year is 96 million liters which are enough to cover the local demand. Gas stations in Paraguay serve a blend of gasoline and 18 to 24 percent of ethanol, depending on the type of fuel, which is fixed by the government on a yearly basis.

The memorandum also included references to biodiesel. There are plans to blend it with diesel sold (something the Philippines are already doing). In order to cover Paraguay's B1 needs, the production should reach 870,000 liters per month.

Whereas biofuels might not be the best solution, they do provide a feasible alternative for poorer countries to combat petrol dependency and pollution.

[Source: Europa Press via Ecoticias]



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