Obstacles to Ethanol Production in Guatemala

The process of fixing prices, the tax structure and lack of investment in distribution are hindering the development of a market with great potential.

Monday, March 10, 2014

From a report by the Department of Agriculture of the United States:

Guatemala is the strongest potential biofuels producer in Central America given the high yields of sugarcane and palm oil and its efficient local industries. Guatemala is the number one producer of sugarcane in the region. During marketing year (MY) 2012, Guatemala produced 2.5 million metric tons (MT) of raw sugar, of which 1.6 million MT were exported, due to a combined milling capacity of 130,000 MT per day for the fourteen sugar mills. At present, five out of the fourteen sugar mills are also producing ethanol with an installed capacity of 269 million liters for calendar year (CY) 2011.

On average, Guatemala is producing close to 850,000 liters of alcohol on a daily basis. Nearly all of the dehydrated ethanol is exported to Europe. The domestic market for biofuels consumption has not been developed. The Guatemalan sugar industry could easily supply the ethanol required for a 10 percent ethanol-gas blend for domestic consumption, with a 0.8 percent increase over its present production.

However, there are several obstacles that Guatemala must overcome in order to implement a viable biofuels policy and the various involved sectors need to reach consensus.

More on this topic

Guatemala begins Pilot Biofuel Plan

August 2014

The tests to be carried out over six months in 20 vehicles consist of mixing from 1% to 10% ethanol with different gasolines used in the country.

The pilot plan to be implemented by the Guatemalan government has the support of the Organization of American States and aims to reduce the use of fossil fuels in the country.

Sugar and Ethanol in Guatemala

August 2013

The sugar industry wants the government to pass legislation to mix ethanol into automotive fuel.

The initiative is being promoted by the Sugar Association of Guatemala (Azasgua), The Local Alcohol Productive Arrangement (APLA) and the Brazilian Agency for Promotion and Investment.

Sugarcane Bioethanol

September 2012

The experience and effective adoption of ethanol in Brazil, reveals an inexorable trend in this industry for any economy.

Stephanie Moll Fetzer 's article in The Black Box, analyzes the possibilities presented by the production of bioethanol from sugar cane, as a generator of employment and in terms of added value.

Guatemalan Sugar Producers Export Biofuels

May 2009

In 2008, 265 million liters of ethanol and alcohol manufactured from sugar cane were exported to Europe and the United States.

Biofuel production generates additional income for sugar producers in Guatemala, which could be a palliative in the face of the economic crisis, according to comments from Fraterno Vila, president of the Sugar Association of Guatemala (ASAZGUA), in an article in Sigloxxi.com.

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