Tereos starts tests to supply the entire agricultural fleet with biomethane
Company uses sugarcane distillation residue to produce alternative energy; pilot project is conducted with machine and vehicle manufacturers such as Scania and Case
As part of its sustainability strategy and the goal of supplying its entire agricultural fleet by 2030 with biomethane generated from vinasse, a residue from sugarcane distillation, Tereos began testing the project that aims to expand the supply of clean energy, as advanced to EXAME. The company, one of the world leaders in the production of sugar and ethanol, has entered into partnerships with companies such as scania, case and Let’s go group for carrying out the tests.
The company assesses that the demand for alternatives to fossil fuels is growing and the technology for producing biomethane must gain space. According to Renato Zanetti, sustainability and operational excellence superintendent at Tereos, companies in the agricultural equipment sector are especially interested in exploring trends in the use of alternative fuels in agribusiness.
In addition to the benefits related to the environment, such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the initiative also involves financial feedback for the company by allowing new forms of remuneration. Part of this scenario is the sale of electricity produced from renewable sources and carbon credits, through the RenovaBio program.
The project is being implemented through a $30 million financing of the French Development Financial Institution, Proparco, focused on initiatives related to sustainability. The funds have also been directed to the construction of a biogas plant at Usina Cruz Alta, in Olímpia (SP), which is scheduled to open next month.
In the last sugarcane harvest, about 1,740 gigawatts of power were generated from sugarcane biomass. “Producing biomethane will be an important measure to expand the use of clean energy and turn a series of sustainability measures into reality”, says Pierre Santoul, CEO of Tereos.
In the last sugar-alcohol cycle, 2020/2021, the company obtained more than R$ 1 billion in green financing. In March last year, Tereos issued nearly R$350 million in Agribusiness Receivables Certificates (CRA) backed by sustainable finance consultancy Sitawi.
The company forecasts an increase of around 15.7% in power generation of sugarcane bagasse this year, reaching around 1,400 gigawatt-hours. In addition, there are plans to increase biofuel exports. With the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, there is greater demand for fuel in Europe – Asia represents another booming market. In relation to the United States, the goal is also to aim at increasing shipments. In March of this year, Tereos obtained a green seal to export ethanol to California.