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The ECB Group, an investment holding company of Brazilian entrepreneur Erasmo Carlos Battistella, has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government of Paraguay to invest in biofuel projects in the country.
The largest of the group's projects, the Omega Green complex, is worth more than US$800 million, will house the first second-generation renewable fuels plant in the Southern Hemisphere.
The complex will produce renewable diesel (HVO) and renewable kerosene (Synthetic Paraffinic kerosene) for civil and military aviation uses. ECB estimates that it has potential to attract international capital and add more than US$8 billion to the estimated GDP of Paraguay over the next decade.
Omega Green will have a daily production capacity of up to 16,500 barrels of diesel and renewable kerosene, enough to meet more than a third of Paraguayan consumption of regular diesel.
Most of the fuel produced will be exported to countries that are signatories of the Paris Agreement, which need to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by replacing oil products. This decrease in diesel imports and increase in exports of higher value-added products will have a very positive impact on Paraguay's trade balance.
The fuel will be produced from organic and renewable products, such as soybean oil produced in areas without environmental liabilities and obtained through extraction by renewable hexane, recycled animal fat, recycled cooking oil and hydrogen obtained through the electrolysis of water. The complex will be powered exclusively by renewable energy.
In addition to offsetting the emission of 1.3 billion tonnes in carbon dioxide (CO2) a year, Omega Green will have solutions designed specifically to strengthen sustainability, such as generating steam from biomass and the treatment of all wastes and by-products, making the complex fully sustainable and certifiable in the strictest international protocols. It will be installed on the banks of the Paraguay River and will have a logistic port and port terminal, with flow of production by waterway.
ECB intends to commence construction of the complex this year. Works are expected to last 30 months, with the complex expected to operate at full productive capacity from 2022.