Katzen to design corn ethanol plant in Brazil

By Matt Thompson | May 03, 2019

Katzen International Inc. announced this week it will design a new corn ethanol plant in the Nova Matum, Mato Grosso region of Brazil. The plant is expected to produce 800,000 liters (211,337.64 gallons) of ethanol per day, or approximately 280 million liters per year. The plant, named Ethanol S.A. Bioenergia, is a joint venture between Grupo O+ Participações and Grupo Infiniti Holdings Ltd.

Tara Vigil, president of Katzen, said construction has already begun on the plant, and startup is expected in the summer of 2020. “We’ve already started the design and we will deliver our full part of the design by the end of this year,” Vigil said.

Traditionally, ethanol in Brazil is produced with sugar cane, but Vigil said the plant shows Brazil’s interest in corn ethanol is growing. “There’s been a growing interest in corn ethanol, especially in the Mato Grosso region of Brazil, which is where the majority of the corn crop in Brazil is grown,” she said. She added that in addition to the Ethanol S.A. Bioenergia plant, there are two other ethanol projects in the region. Katzen is involved with one, which is expected to start up this summer. She said that plant will produce 1.4 million liters per day.

The next milestone for the Ethanol S.A. Bioenergia plant is the procurement of equipment, Vigil said. “They’re anticipating a pretty short construction schedule, so that means that they want to order the equipment as soon as possible,” she said. “So, the big milestone will be our specification of the longer lead equipment.”

Vigil said Katzen strives “to partner with the client and really listen and collaborate with them and tailor our technology to what they need. We’re known for a very robust, long-lasting plant that’s highly automated.”