Biofuels: an up and coming industry

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Biofuel sales in 2012 reached 2 trillion pesos, 0.33% of the country’s GDP.

Colombia’s biofuel industry is becoming a giant due to its outstanding performance and its compromise with the environment. Learn why we are part of the answer.

Biofuel sales in 2012 reached 2 trillion pesos, 0.33% of the country’s GDP. In addition, some 392.000 people live off this agroindustry that provides a great opportunity for employment in Colombia through biodiesel production (75.000 employees) and ethanol production (22.000 employees).

As Latin America’s second largest ethanol producer and the third largest biodiesel producer, the country leads the way in biofuels in the region. These assets have energy efficient agricultural supplies like sugar cane and oil palm, which makes Colombia the number one oil palm producer in the Americas and the fourth in the world.

This meant 362 million liters of anhydrous ethanol and 500.000 tons of biodiesel were produced in 2012. The latter’s production is expected to rise to 800.000 tons by 2014.

Biofuels are vegetable and reduce pollution because the gases they release are less harmful than those of fossil fuels. There are about 7.4 million suitable hectares for agro-fuel production in departments like Cesar, Magdalena, Atlántico, Santander, Risaralda, Valle del Cauca, Cauca and Meta.

Nowadays the country is building five ethanol plants and six biodiesel plants, which will produce ethanol and sugar in one process. These sugar plants, as well as other opportunities in the Colombian biofuel market, offer investors tax benefits.

Colombia’s first flight using biofuels

Colombia’s first commercial flight using biofuels took place between Bogotá and Cali on August 21st. LAN, the airline, used second generation fuels taken from materials such as algae, jatropha, halophyte, camelina and vegetable oil residues. Ignacio Cueto, LAN’s general manager, and Hernán Pasman, Colombia’s CEO, took the flight.

Learn more about biofuels and discover why when it comes to resources and industry, the answer is Colombia.