Cargill to build biodiesel plant in Argentina

By Bryan Sims | July 13, 2010
Posted Aug. 17, 2010

Looking to bolster its biodiesel footprint in Latin America, Cargill Inc.'s Argentinean operating branch Cargill Argentina (Cargill SACI) invested $112 million towards the cost of building a 240,000 metric-ton (72 MMgy) biodiesel plant in the rich soybean-growing region of Villa Governador Galvez within the Santa Fe Province in Argentina.

In addition to the biodiesel facility, Cargill intends to build an 18 megawatt co-generation plant on site with the biodiesel facility. Both projects are slated to come online in September 2011.

"Both projects clearly ratify Cargill's confidence in the potential of the Argentine agribusiness industry and the role of our country in the international trade, demonstrated by over $500 million of investments made by Cargill in the period '04-'09, through the building of new processing plants and ports as well as joint ventures with highly renowned local enterprises, all of these focused on adding value to the national agribusiness production thus improving Argentina's competitiveness in the international market ," said Hugo Krajnc, president of Cargill Argentina.

The biodiesel plant will be located next to a Cargill-owned port terminal that will use soy oil originating from its 13,000-ton-per-day soybean processing plant in Santa Fe, Cargill's largest soybean processing complex in the world. Cargill employs 4,000 workers in Argentina in 50 locations and its assets include export terminals, country elevators, malt plants, oilseed crushing plants, beef processing plants and four mills.

According to Cargill, it's estimated that the investment in goods, machinery, equipment and services of local origin represent approximately 77 percent of its total investment amount towards the projects. Additionally, approximately 90 percent of the production from the future plant will be exported to China, Spain, Peru, Egypt, Brazil, the Netherlands, India, South Korea, Malaysia and Chile, according to the company.

In July, Argentina lifted the required mix of biodiesel in its diesel fuel pool to B7 from B5. The increased mandate to a B7 blend is anticipated to launch in September.
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