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South Africa ethanol plant to begin construction

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Staff writer ▼ | March 20, 2014
Jozini plantA major renewable energy plant in Jozini, KwaZulu-Natal, which has been in planning for seven years, is set to start preliminary work in September.

Silvapen Group, the South African – Brazilian company, plans to build the proposed R1.2 billion (€80 million) sugar-to-ethanol distillery using Brazilian technology, reports Biofuels International, reports The Crop Site.

The distillery, which is set on 15,000 ha of land, in the middle of a sugarcane, plans to produce 1.5 million cubic litres of ethanol per year to meet demands of the local area. 45 Brazilian biofuel experts and agronomists are expected to be in Jozini for five to six years. Discarded waste sugar will be converted to generate electricity.

Penalto Miguel, Silvapen's chief executive emphasises: "The operation will therefore be electricity free. We will be generating 94 megawatts of power a day, and as we will only need 10mw, we will sell the surplus to Eskom for the national grid."

"Our engineers say that there will be more of a yield in Jozini than in Brazil. You can get 80 tonnes of sugarcane to one hectare in Brazil – and we will be getting 100 tonnes in Jozini," Mr. Miguel states.

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