BNDES of Brazil is to provide 1 billion Reais ($593 million) in credit to the ethanol sector over the next four years to fund development of technology. The funding is to develop technologies in connection with ethanol and cellulosic ethanol. The move is seen as a bid not to lag behind North America in developing second generation ethanol technologies.
Brazil was the world’s largest producer of ethanol before being overtaken by the US. Brazil primarily uses sugar cane as feedstock for ethanol while the US primarily uses corn. The US now produces twice the amount of ethanol produced by Brazil.
The loans will be to fund research and are available from BNDES and FINEP, an arm of the Science Ministry.