China may increase demand for ethanol in coming years

During an event focused on the biofuels sector, held this Thursday in São Paulo, Brazil, experts pointed out that the Asian countries will be the next frontier for foreign sales of ethanol. For the National Energy Policy Council member and president of DATAGRO, Plinio Nastari, China should increase ethanol consumption in the coming years, as gasoline consumption in the country grows at a rate of 6% per year.

"The country produces little ethanol and should need to import more to balance the composition in the fuel pumps at the stations," he said. He also recalled that Brazil does not have to limit itself to exporting sustainable energy sources, but also to transfer flex-car technology and the model of programs that encourage the use of biofuels.

The secretary of oil, natural gas and renewable fuels of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Márcio Felix Carvalho Bezer, also participated in the event. Asian countries, in their view, could adopt a new perspective for the sugarcane and corn cycle, which could benefit Brazil and other biofuel exporters.

During the panel on international opportunities for Brazilian ethanol, Marcos Jank, CEO of Agro Brazil Alliance and professor of Insper, highlighted the potential of consumption countries like China, India and the Philippines. In India, there is a natural tendency to direct sugarcane surplus to ethanol production, according to Jank. This year, the country should set a target of 7.2% ethanol in gasoline and 10% in 2020.

According to Jank, China has a potential consumption of 19 billion liters per year of ethanol. He also stressed the leading role of Brazil in leading the discourse on the importance of biofuels for energy security and the protection of the environment in Asian countries.

Postad by: Marina Carvejani