Maple Energy expands its sugarcane plantation

By Erin Voegele | January 16, 2013

Peru-based sugarcane ethanol producer Maple Energy plc is expanding its operations. In an update released Jan. 15, the company noted it has received government approval to begin expanding its plantation by 877 hectares (2,167 acres). Once the expansion is complete, Maple Energy’s plantation will cover 7,409 hectares. Planting of the new area began in January.

Maple Energy is also planning further expansions this year. Subject to certain additional government approvals, the company plans to expand its plantation by an additional 378 hectares in 213, bringing the total plantation size to 7,787 hectares at a cost of $3.3 million.

To increase its daily harvest ability, Maple Energy also noted that it has ordered two additional mechanical harvesters and related equipment. The new equipment is scheduled to be delivered during the first quarter of 2013. Once it arrives, the Maple Energy fleet will increase to eight mechanical harvesters. The increased harvesting capacity will increase the quantity of sugarcane delivered to the facility on a daily basis, increasing production volumes.

 As of the close of 2012, the ethanol plant had processed approximately 579,000 metric tons of sugar cane since it began operations in March 2012. The company has produced approximately 11.2 million gallons of fuel-grade ethanol since startup. The average per ton yield is 21.5 gallons. As of Dec. 31, 2012, Maple Energy had also sold approximately 2.264 million gallons of ethanol into its local market, while 7.999 million gallons were exported to Europe.

The project site also produces electricity, which is currently supplying substantially all of the electrical energy required for the operations. Excess power is sold to the grid. As of the close of 2012, the facility had generated approximately 40,345 MWh of electricity.