One of the biggest sugarcane energy companies globally, Sao Martinho, recently announced plans to build its first biomethane plant in Brazil.
The plant is expected to process 100% of the vinasse produced at the Santa Cruz unit, situated in Americo Brasiliense, in the interior of Sao Paulo (SP). This will generate about 15 million cubic meters of biomethane per harvest. Biomethane is produced by means of the anaerobic digestion of vinasse, a residue from the production of ethanol.
Sao Martinho’s usage of biomethane has the potential to reduce the emission of as many as 32,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases at this volume. This is done by replacing the use of fossil natural gas.
According to the firm, the quantity equates to 250 truck trips every day. This is equivalent to 91,000 truck trips between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro cities yearly.
Biomethane Plant Operational Date
By the second half of 2025, the new venture will be operational, with an investment of around R$250 million (€47.4 million).
The company has formulated a master plan. This plan includes the utilization of vinasse to fully explore the potential of producing biomethane. 20 percent of it has been accomplished by the first stage, which has begun at the Santa Cruz unit.
The firm stated that the remaining 80% is being evaluated. The evaluation takes into consideration the unique characteristics as well as the competitive advantages of the other three units. These units include Sao Martinho and the Iracema in the heart of Sao Paulo (SP) and Boa Vista in Goias (GO).
According to Sao Martinho’s president, Fabio Venturelli, the firm has entered the renewable natural gas market. This is also marked by the establishment of the Santa Cruz biomethane plant. Additionally, it makes them more committed to making a significant contribution to the energy transition to a low carbon economy.
Furthermore, according to him, this new initiative is in line with Sao Martinho’s strategic plan. It guarantees the production of affordable renewable carbon. It also enables the company to boost profitability per cultivated hectare, producing more value for shareholders.
He also added that currently, only 20 percent of the company’s potential is being used for biomethane generation. It can offer a renewable option to a region that consumes a lot of fossil fuels since pipelines connect it to the distribution system.