MONTERO, Bolivia – Bolivia is on the verge of producing bioethanol at a mass scale in an effort to phase out the country’s reliance on imported gasoline and diesel additives, which are used to improve the performance of both fuels.
The project is mainly driven by the privately-owned Guabira sugar plantation, located in the city of Montero, near Santa Cruz, the county’s second city.
During a press conference organized by the Bolivian Foreign Trade Institute (IBCE), Guabira chairman of the board Mariano Aguilera told reporters that the mass production of ethanol will mean that the country will not need to import further fuel additives.
The company’s first 10,000 liters (2,642 gallons) of the fuel were tested on an assortment of vehicles – operating across a range of climates – yielding “optimal” results, Aguilera said.
“At this moment, we have five million liters (1.3 million gallons) to deliver to YPFB,” the businessman said.
In May, the government partnered up with Santa Cruz sugarcane producers to boost the production of the fuel.
To that end, the sector is set to receive an investment of some $1.5 billion, which is aimed to expand sugarcane crops from 151,000 hectares to 330,000 hectares (373,129 acres to 741,316 acres), the IBCE said.