August 23, 2012 / 7:36 PM / 6 years ago

Cargill says to open Brazil biodiesel plant this month

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Global grains trading powerhouse Cargill Inc will open a biodiesel plant in Brazil’s Mato Grosso do Sul state by the end of August, the company’s vice president of corporate affairs in Brazil, Valeria Militelli, said on Thursday.

Cargill, one of the largest soybean exporters in Brazil, announced an investment of some 130 billion reais, ($64.5 million) in the plant located in the Tres Lagoas municipality in 2010.

Brazil’s young biodiesel industry, that began about a half decade ago, is small compared to its vast ethanol market, but it benefits from a mandated 5 percent blend in all commercial diesel. Soybean oil makes up about 85 percent of the feedstock for its production.

Biodiesel production in Brazil lags that in neighboring Argentina, where export companies including Cargill have joined local firms in exploiting Argentine soy fields to make biofuels.

Brazil is the world’s No. 2 soybean producer behind the United States and ahead of Argentina.

Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer

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