GranBio’s Alagoas cellulosic ethanol project, in pictures and video

January 14, 2014 |

GranBio-011414-smDown in the northeast of Brazil, a signature cellulosic biofuels project nears completion. 

What does it look like? Here’s our biggest picture set ever. It’s the GranBio first commercial project in 122 pictures and a comprehensive video.

Among the signature project openings we expect in the next few months — Abengoa’s cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas, the POET-DSM Project Liberty in Emmetsburg, Iowa, Solazyme’s Moema JV with Bunge — perhaps none have been so intriguing as the GranBio project in Alagoas, Brazil.

How close? “We’re now 85% complete,” says GranBio’s US managing director Vonnie Estes.

For one reason, because it is owned by a well-financed, private company with huge options and no requirement to give quarterly guidance to public shareholders on its timelines, progress and ongoing strategy. For another, we generally see companies focused on Brazil or focused on the US, in terms of deploying commercial projects at scale. Not too many have attempted a focus on both — as Solazyme and GranBio have.

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Not to mention, the speed with which the project has progressed — contrasting that with the five- and six-year journeys for some projects from their first announcement to mechanical completion.

It’s been stealthy if only because it is not an easy project for media to get to – in the Northeast region of Brazil, in the historic heartland of the sugarcane industry as opposed to the vast plantations that have been established to the south in Sao Paulo state and Minas Gerais — and it is in the south that most cooperative activity between US or European technologies and Brazilian ethanol interests have been situated.

But stealthy no more. In today’s Digest, we are delighted to publish the most extensive set of pictures and video ever offered on the Gran Bio Alagoas project — scheduled to bring 20 million gallons of new cellulosic ethanol capacity onto the market.

The video

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The plant, in pictures

(To see a picture in full size, click on the image)

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The feedstock operation, in pictures

(To see a picture in full size, click on the image)

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