TMO Renewables takes part in Prime Minister’s trade delegation to Brazil
CEO David Weaver seeks to build on existing ties with world’s second most significant ethanol-producing country
Surrey, UNITED KINGDOM – September 28th, 2012 – Leading developer of second generation biofuels technology, TMO Renewables (TMO) is one of over 50 businesses taking part in the British trade delegation currently in Brazil, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, to pursue new business opportunities between both countries.
The delegation is being led by British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Green, Minister of State for Universities and Science David Willetts, and the Right Honourable Hugo Swire Minister of State for the Foreign Office are also accompanying the party. The delegation comprises companies including BP, Shell, Rolls Royce and HSBC, all of which have existing knowledge of the Brazilian market and wish to develop further commercial ties at meetings and networking events with Brazilian government figures, trade industries and companies, including Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
As the world’s second largest producer of ethanol behind the United States and a major consumer of ethanol, Brazil is a sizable opportunity for TMO. It is the world’s largest producer of ethanol from sugarcane. Based on the 2010/11 sugarcane harvest Brazil’s ethanol production was 27.4 billion litres, of which 25.5 billion were used in domestic consumption.
In Brazil sugarcane ethanol is used in the transport sector as a renewable fuel that cuts greenhouse gas emissions. There are 15.3 million flex fuel vehicles capable of running on gasoline or ethanol in the country, which represents 50% of the total national light vehicle fleet. Bioelectricity is another innovative area for sugarcane, where bagasse, leftover sugarcane biomass, is burned and converted into clean electricity. Sugarcane is the top source of renewable energy in Brazil providing 17.8% of energy (Sources: UNICA and BEN (2011)).
This visit will seek to strengthen these existing ties with the country and create new relationships, particularly with sugarcane producers and producers of sugarcane ethanol, who could all benefit from the improvements in production TMO’s technology offers. The business model TMO is employing in China – secure feedstock supply, secure off-take agreements and then secure finance with partners to build plants – would also adapt well to Brazil. As the major feedstock is sugarcane bagasse any second generation ethanol plants will probably be co-located with current mills so future feedstock supply agreements are likely to be with individual mills.
In 2012 TMO received a senior delegation of ethanol plant owners and local officials from Brazil, at the Company’s laboratory and PDU in Surrey to see TMO technology in action. At the time the Brazilian State Secretary of Economic Development and the Brazilian Secretary of Science, Technology and Superior Education committed to joining forces to seek partnerships with universities and private companies to further develop this opportunity. TMO are now looking to build on that visit, and identify significant strategic partner(s) to work with them in Brazil.
David Weaver, CEO of TMO, said, “I am delighted to be in such good company on this trip as many of the leading companies in British industry seek to develop our nation’s trading ties with one of the world’s most dynamic economies. It is particularly significant for the development and growth of TMO that we have been able to repeat our recent success in China in Brazil by signing the LOI. This would not have been possible without the support of the United Kingdom Trade and Investment team, we are pleased to have the UK Export Finance organisation working with us. The opportunity
for TMO is particularly significant because of Brazil’s highly developed ethanol industry. We look forward to the support of the UK government in pursuing our interests in Brazil and to announcing steps forward in the near future.”
Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said, “Brazil’s fast growing economy offers many opportunities for UK companies. Trade between our two nations increased by a quarter in the last two years and London’s successful summer of sport has helped to raise the profile of British companies even further. Getting more companies exporting is a crucial part of the Government’s plan for growth.”