Brazil produces three types of sugar: raw, crystal and refined. Raw sugar is usually exported to supply refineries around the world, while refined and crystal sugars are sold for direct consumption and for use in the food industry.
Sugar consumption is increasing, largely driven by growth in developing countries, as population and GDP rises globally. World GDP growth impacts both the direct consumption of sugar as well as indirect consumption through the processed foods industry.
Although Brazil is the world's largest sugar producer, sugar production in Brazil is centered in a few regions, resulting in costly transportation costs for Brazil’s internal market. States in the northern part of the country are largely supplied by distant mills located in the Center-South region and Northeastern coastal regions of the country.
Terracal’s production in Piauí will benefit consumers within the state and in neighboring regions. The sugar produced can also be destined for the international market, taking advantage of its close proximity to the main ports of the Northeast.
Hydrous ethanol is used directly as fuel in automotive vehicles, while anhydrous ethanol is added to gasoline in a government-defined ratio.
Ethanol has the advantage of being a renewable fuel with low net generation of carbon dioxide compared to gasoline and diesel. For this reason, many countries have mandates that require minimum percentages of renewable fuel to be blended with petroleum products.
Ethanol industry growth has reduced Brazil's dependence on fuel imports. The growth of sales of flex-fuel cars, which nowadays represent the majority of vehicles in Brazil, benefits from increased ethanol production.
As with sugar, the northern region of Brazil is a net importer of ethanol from distant states and, at times, from other countries, depending on variations in the international market. Terrracal’s Piauí project is in a strong position to cost-effectively supply this region.
The Brazilian energy matrix is still heavily dependent on hydraulic sources; consequently the system is exposed to climatic variations, affecting the energy supply to the national system. One advantage of bioelectricity generated by sugarcane mills is that it serves as a complementary alternative to hydroelectricity. The prime bioenergy production period, when sugarcane processing is underway, occurs in the dry season, when reservoirs tend to be low.
One objective of the Piauí project is to maximize the generation and sale of renewable energy through the use of modern and highly efficient equipment, as well as the higher use of sugarcane byproducts in the boilers, made feasible by the proximity of the planted area with the Cogeneration Plant.
The main advantages of Bioelectricity produced from Sugarcane Bagasse are:
Compared to Oil or Coal Thermoelectric:
Renewable energy that minimizes CO2 emissions and reduces greenhouse effects
Lower operational costs
Compared to hydropower plants:
Reduced social and environmental impacts during implementation
Less exposure to climatic variations
Reduced construction time, 2 to 3 years
Provides peak power when hydraulic sources are at seasonal lows, as biomass availability occurs largely in the dry period.
Lower transmission costs
Tomatoes require a higher standard of care than many other crops, due to their short growing cycle, higher demand for consistent water and nutrients, and sensitivity to diseases, among other factors. On the other hand, tomatoes offer a significantly higher value than many other crops, with additional premiums being offered for higher product quality.
The Piauí project focuses on the production of tomatoes for industrial processing, producing tomato paste for consumer packaging or for further use in the food industry. The main customers will be the sauces and ketchup industries, both in Brazil and abroad.
The project maximizes operational integration, growing tomatoes utilizing drip irrigation, rotating with sugarcane and producing high quality tomato paste in a modern industrial plant that will use the steam and energy generated by the cogeneration plant.