$85M Bioethanol demo plant commissioned


In light of Sithe Global’s withdrawal from the Amaila Falls Hydro Project, President Donald Ramotar has reiterated his pledge to “look for other partners” in pursuit of cheap and alternative energy. He was at the time addressing the gathering at a ceremony held to commission the $85M Bioethanol Demonstration Plant at Albion Estate in Berbice, a project which he said is geared at generating energy at a lower cost.


It is being undertaken by the Government of Guyana in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), while Green Biofineries of Brazil and WhiteFox Technologies Limited of Canada were contracted and subcontracted to install the components of the plant.

President Donald Ramotar and Agriculture Minister Leslie Ramsammy examine a section of the plant.

President Donald Ramotar and Agriculture Minister Leslie Ramsammy examine a section of the plant.


Kaieteur News understands that this is the first time that WhiteFox Technologies Limited has built a Bioethanol Plant anywhere in the world. Nonetheless, the facility will be handled by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), employees of which were trained in the field of bioethanol production.


It was noted that during a workshop, 50 participants from 15 corresponding entities such as the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), were taught how to manage the plant during operation, bioethanol quality control, plant maintenance, and safety guidelines.


The main objectives of the plant are to demonstrate the production of fuel grade ethanol locally, provide the source for demonstration of ethanol as a vehicle fuel, and develop a facility for the training of local personnel in bio-fuel technologies.


Clairmont Clementson, Bioenergy Program Coordinator,  explained that the plant will utilize “back-strap” molasses, the final output from the sugar production process, to produce ethanol of strength 99.6 percent or greater.


The Bioethanol Demonstration Plant is designed to produce 1000 liters per day. Clementson said that this is done via a two-stage process – fermentation and distillation, and dehydration. The ethanol can then be blended with gasoline for use in vehicles.


Chief Executive Officer of the entity, Paul Bhim, explained that the public cannot look forward to any major profits from the project, as it is not intended for commercial use. He noted that the plant is there to provide training for locals in the field of bioethanol production, while trying to develop and extend the generation of alternative energy.


According to Minister of Agriculture Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, the Bioethanol Demonstration Plant is a stepping stone for Guyana. He expressed confidence that GuySuCo will develop the facility, and by extension, the energy sector.