Sumitomo Corp. said last week it will acquire up to 20 percent of Cosan Biomassa S.A., a Sao Paulo-based producer and distributor of sugar cane biomass pellets used for power generation, as part of its plan to invest in biomass fuel manufacturing.
"Brazil is already among the largest producers and exporters of agricultural commodities in the world,” Cosan Biomassa CEO Mark Lyra said. “Pelletized biomass is a new commodity being created to serve the low carbon economy. By making use of sugarcane residues and benefiting from the economic and environmental advantages that the shift to rail logistics brings to the game, Brazil is positioned to become the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy."
Sumitomo is seeking to invest in wind, solar and other types of renewable energy. Investment in renewable energy is important as Japan is seeking to reduce gas emissions by 26 percent.
"By the year 2030, we foresee that Japan will consume as much as 10 million (or more) tons of pelletized biomass, the majority of which would come from overseas,” Sumitomo Biomass Business General Manager Yoshinobu Kusano said. “Renewable energy, including biomass, will play a prominent role in our power generation sector by that time. We believe a relevant portion of this demand will be met by agricultural waste, particularly sugar cane biomass pellets produced in Brazil. Sugarcane's productivity and abundant availability tied to the fact that we are using its residual byproduct as a raw material gives us a unique sustainability condition when compared to other biomass sources in the world.”