'The Brazilian Amazon holds the energy of the future', says Milton Steagall, CEO of Grupo BBF

Group advocates palm oil production for the bioeconomy in the electricity and biofuel sectors, for example
February 28, 2024
Palm Oil

With a capacity to produce around 186 billion liters of palm oil a year, the Brazilian Amazon holds the energy of the future, with high potential for the production of advanced fuels. This is the assessment of the CEO of Grupo BBF (Brasil BioFuels), Milton Steagall.

Grupo BBF is a Brazilian company founded in 2008 and currently the largest palm oil producer in Latin America. The company has operations in the states of Pará, Acre, Amazonas, Rondônia and Roraima.

"From palm oil, it's possible to talk about the bioeconomy within the electricity, chemical and biofuel sectors, as well as agribusiness. The (Amazon) region has a veritable green pre-salt," says Milton Steagall.

According to the CEO of Grupo BBF, oil palm is an example of a crop that combines the recovery of the biome, the replacement of fossil raw materials with renewable ones, as well as generating jobs and income for the local population.

Sustainable palm cultivation

The BBF points out that, according to research by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), Brazil is in a position to grow palm in a sustainable manner on around 31 million hectares of degraded areas in the Amazon region.

Brazilian legislation on palm cultivation is based on Decree 7.172/2010, and is considered strict as it only allows palm cultivation in areas that were deforested in the Amazon region until December 2007.

"Although its cultivation is allowed throughout this area, without cutting down a single tree in the forest, today palm is planted on just 300,000 hectares in Brazil, 75,000 hectares of which are in Grupo BBF," says the executive.

'Green pre-salt'

She adds: "The bill for this sustainable 'green pre-salt' also includes huge figures for the Brazilian economy: each hectare is capable of generating up to 6,000 liters of palm oil. 6,000 liters times 31 million hectares gives Brazil the opportunity to produce 186 billion liters of palm oil a year. That's more than the volume of oil extracted by Petrobras in 2022, with around 175 billion liters."

Currently, Brazil's palm oil production is still timid, placing the country in tenth place in the ranking of the largest producers, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The production of this oil, which is the most consumed in the world, is concentrated in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, countries that hold 87% of world production, estimated at around 80 million tons per year.

Grupo BBF reports that from 2026 it will start supplying SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) and Green Diesel (RD). The raw material for the advanced biofuels will be palm oil grown by the company in the Amazon region.

This production will be refined in the country's first biorefinery to produce these unprecedented biofuels on an industrial scale. The projection is for around 500 million liters per year of SAF and Green Diesel.

Grupo BBF also generates clean, renewable electricity for more than 140,000 residents of isolated locations in the Amazon, served by the Isolated Systems, with 25 thermoelectric plants in operation, powered by biofuels produced from palm oil.

Grupo BBF

Grupo BBF (Brasil BioFuels) is a pioneer in creating sustainable solutions for generating renewable energy in isolated systems, with thermoelectric plants powered by biofuels produced in the region. It has an integrated business model in which it operates from the beginning to the end of the value chain, from sustainable oil palm cultivation, crude oil extraction, biofuel production, biotechnology and renewable energy generation - with assets totaling around R$2.2 billion and activities generating around 6,000 direct jobs in the northern region of Brazil.

Check it out in full at: https://www.oliberal.com/economia/a-amazonia-brasileira-detem-a-energia-do-futuro-dizmilton-steagall-ceo-do-grupo-bbf-1.785620



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