Ethanol from demonstration plant expected in Guyana

Guyana is poised to have its first litre of ethanol produced at the Albion demonstration plant in January 2013, said Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy.
As part of its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), the country’s agriculture sector is being oriented to build capacity for the production of agro-fuels (bio-fuels).
This is in keeping with the aim of becoming a meaningful player in the growing alternative energy fields.
It will also serve a dual purpose where Guyana’s needs would be met, adding to its portfolio of exported products.
Dr Ramsammy told Guyana Times on Saturday, that there are two parts of the factory at Albion: One which will produce anhydrous ethanol (with no water) and the other which will produce hydrous ethanol, which is 95 per cent pure (little water).
He stated that the hydrous producing part has arrived from Brazil and is presently being installed.
With such developments, plans are on track for the first litre of this type of ethanol to be produced at Albion, before the end of January.
Meanwhile, the second component of the plant is being shipped to Guyana from Canada and would be here shortly.
It was emphasised that oil is the single largest import expenditure for Guyana, with consumption projected to increase enormously by 2025.
Currently, the electricity sector consumes about 33 per cent of imported petroleum products and residential use of power is 16 per cent and rising.
Agriculture and mining use another 12 per cent, while industry and manufacturing account for six per cent. The transportations sector utilises 28 per cent, with almost 20,000 new vehicles imported every year.
“In addition to the unsustainable economic cost, the increasing utilisation of fossil fuel because of accelerated economic and social development will mean a doubling of Guyana’s fossil fuel-related carbon emission by 2025, a possibility that is incongruent with Guyana’s reputation as a low carbon emission country,” Dr Ramsammy said. He said this dependence on fossil fuel is unsustainable and Guyana simply cannot afford to continue in this vain.
“Guyana will suffer negative consequences because of this dependence, unless there is a change in direction, and the country has already embarked on a number of major initiatives that will help reduce this dependence on fossil fuel,” said Dr Ramsammy.
He explained that bio-energy, with a strong focus on agro-energy, is a national priority and, as such, Guyana has developed a bio-energy policy.
With support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the policy is being implemented with various pilot projects, and with a package for investment in agro-energy industries.