Sao Paulo, Brazil, 27 Dec – British company Futuragene, the biotechnology arm of Brazilian pulp and paper company Suzano Papel e Celulose, set itself up in Shanghai, China in December with the aim of investing in a research laboratory to improve forestry species and thus responding to increasing demand for fibres and sources of renewable energy.
Futuragene, a UK company, was acquired by Suzano in July 2010, and is focused on research linked to the productivity of forestry plantations for bioenergy and biofuel.
In Brazil, the investment is mainly in eucalyptus. In China, it plans to improve poplar trees, a local species used to supply energy to pig iron forges.
“It is the beginning of an innovative business that is part of our growth strategy in the forestry sector,” the chairman of Suzano, Antônio Maciel told Brasil Econômico.
This year, Suzano has invested US$20 million in Futuragene, as well as US$100 million, in 2010, to buy the company. (macauhub)