BP Going big in biofuels

BP has struck a deal with US agri-commodities company Bunge to form a bioenergy powerhouse in Brazil

The transaction will create a 50:50 joint venture combining BP and Bunge’s biofuels businesses in the fast-growing Brazilian market.  


The combination of assets and experience creates value through scale and efficiency and positions the new business for growth in biofuels and biopower.


BP Bunge Bioenergia will have 11 biofuels sites and the production capacity of 32 million metric tonnes of sugarcane a year, making it the second largest player in the sugarcane ethanol biofuel industry in Brazil.  

 

 

“This is another large-scale example of BP’s commitment to play a leading role in a rapid transition to a low carbon future. Biofuels will be an essential part of delivering the energy transition and Brazil is leading the way in showing how they can be used at scale, reducing emissions from transport. This combination will unlock new possibilities for improved efficiency and future growth in this key market.”

 

Bob Dudley, group chief executive

 

 Dev Sanyal, chief executive of BP Alternative Energy, said: “In one step, this will allow BP to significantly grow the scale of our business in one of the world’s major growth biofuels markets. With a shared commitment to safety and sustainability, bringing together our assets and expertise will allow us to improve performance, develop options for growth and generate real value. BP Bunge Bioenergia will be well-placed to support Brazil’s increasing demand for both low carbon biofuels and biopower.”

Confidence to grow

BP has a 10-year history of operating a successful biofuels business in Brazil, the world’s second largest and most integrated market for ethanol as a transport fuel. It’s a business in which BP has invested and is now achieving among the best operating efficiency and safety performance in the sector. This has given BP the confidence to grow it further. 


BP’s existing biofuels CEO and head of country for Brazil, Mario Lindenhayn, will become the executive chairman for the new JV, in addition to retaining head of country accountabilities. The JV CEO will be Geovane Consul, the current head of Bunge’s Brazilian biofuels business. Marcus Schlosser, currently CFO for BP Biofuels, will be appointed CFO.

 

 

The BP Bunge Bioenergia joint venture

  • 11 sites
  • Sugarcane crushing capacity of 32 million tonnes a year
  • Capable of producing more than 2 billion litres of ethanol equivalent a year 
  • More than 10,000 employees

 

Brazil biofuels

  • In 2018, the Brazilian market for ethanol was 26 billion litres

 

How the biofuels business works: the digital technology and more

Another step to low carbon future

The deal announced today will grow BP’s existing biofuels business by more than 50% and better positions the business in a country already geared up for biofuels, with 70% of vehicles capable of running on ethanol. And the market is set to grow, with rapid demand for ethanol predicted in the next 10 years, helped by government backing.


New rules in Brazil coming into force in 2020 mandate additional sales, encourage market growth and support further development of the sugarcane ethanol industry. 


As well as being good business for BP, the move marks another step in the organization’s commitment to advance a low carbon future. 


It also underscores the importance of biofuels as an alternative ground transportation fuel. Based on last year’s figures, BP Bunge Bioenergia’s combined ethanol production would have avoided GHG emissions equal to almost a million fewer European cars on the road in a year.


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