Brazil: Odebrecht speeds up sugar and biodiesel project in Angola

8 January 2009

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 8 Jan – Brazilian company Odebrecht and its Angolan partners are this month due to open a 4,000 hectare sugar cane plantation on a property close to the Capanda hydroelectric dam, Brazilian newspaper Valor Económico reported Wednesday.

The project, known as Biocom, is a partnership between Odebrecht, Angolan state oil company, Sonangol and private Angolan group Damer.

The aim of Biocom, which is 40-percent owned by Odebrecht, is to produce 250,000 tonnes of sugar, 30,000 cubic metres of ethanol and 160,000 megawatts of energy from burning waste from the production process, every year starting in 2012.

Biocom is the first direct investment in agricultural and energy production by the Brazilian company in Angola and although the amount of investment has not been disclosed, the paper said that Odebrecht was unlikely to invest less than US$80 million.

Speaking to the newspaper, Humberto Rangel, Odebrecht Angola’s business development director, said that the idea behind the project was that the are planted with sugar cane would total 24,000 hectares so that the factory currently being built could operate at its maximum capacity.

Rangel also said that initially Biocom would focus on the Angolan market and there was no idea of exporting either the sugar or ethanol it would produce.

Angola is currently Odebrecht’s sixth biggest market, with the company’s total turnover in 2007 standing at 8.8 billion reais.

The company’s African operations, which also include Mozambique, account for 19 percent of that total and 16 percent its firm orders portfolio worth 17 billion reais. (macauhub)