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ECB Group reveals financial and EPC partners for Omega Green biorefinery

Brazil-headed ECB Group, an investment holding company of Brazilian entrepreneur Erasmo Carlos Battistella, has announced that it has selected Barclays and UBS as financial partners and ACCIONA as Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor for its greenfield Omega Green biorefinery project in Paraguay.

The announcements were made by ECB Group CEO Erasmo Carlos Battistella, at a high-level function in Asunción, Paraguay on November 25, 2019, that was attended by the President of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benítez, government authorities, foreign diplomats, bank executives and logistics operators in the country (photo courtesy ECB Group).

The announcements were made by ECB Group CEO Erasmo Carlos Battistella, at a high-level function in Asunción, Paraguay on November 25, 2019, that was attended by the President of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benítez, government authorities, foreign diplomats, bank executives and logistics operators in the country.

Launched in February 2019, ECB Group’s US$800 million Omega Green Project represents the largest private investment in the history of Paraguay and aims to build the first-of-it-kind and largest advanced biofuel plant in the Southern Hemisphere.

To be located in the city of Villeta, about 45 km from the capital Asunción, on land acquired by ECB Group, the greenfield biorefinery will produce renewable diesel (HVO – Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) and renewable aviation kerosene (sustainable aviation fuel –SAF).

Most of the production from the 20 000 barrels-per-day nameplate capacity plant is expected to be exported to Paris Agreement signatory countries, such as the United States (US), Canada, and the European Union (EU).

We are committed to Paraguay and to President Abdo’s government to come to this country to build together and aggregate value to the raw materials produced here. Omega Green is going to export its products and bring to Paraguayans economic, environmental, and social benefits. In the next months, we will work hard to have the first commercial deals so that part of our production has a selling guarantee for at least five years, finish the financial structuration of the investment, and the technology and engineering technical details, Erasmo Carlos Battistella said.

Multinational project partners

ECB Group revealed that the global banks Barclays and UBS were selected as financial partners for the project on account their international presence and extensive experience in financing large multinational projects.

Previously announced technology suppliers for the project include Crown Iron Works and Honeywell UOP. The former will provide technology for the oil extraction and pretreatment of vegetable oils and non-edible animal fats for the production of advanced biofuels.

The latter will provide the hydrotreating stages to produce “Honeywell Green Diesel” and “Honeywell Green Jet Fuel” both of which are chemically identical to petroleum-derived counterparts enabling drop-in blending without the need for modifications to engines or fueling infrastructure.

In addition, the fuels offer a 60 to 85 percent life cycle reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) compared to petroleum fuels and provide better performance.

ECB Group also revealed that it signed an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) agreement with the Spanish company ACCIONA. With a presence in more than 20 countries, including Brazil, Chile, and Peru, ACCIONA is an expert in the execution of complex EPC projects, with special attention and experience in renewable energy installations.

ACCIONA has extensive experience in the construction of industrial projects, with a high degree of technological value; in which significant engineering resources and processes are required, equipment supplies globally, and whose execution requires the most advanced construction and commissioning methods.

The construction will begin in the first half of 2020 and is estimated to be concluded in 30 months. The complex will create more than 3 000 direct jobs during construction and some 2 400 jobs, direct and indirect, once operational. More than 20 000 smallholder families will benefit from social certification programs to produce raw materials such as soybeans.

Paraguay’s Minister of Industry and Commerce Liz Cramer stated how important it is to Paraguay to bring investments aligned with global tendencies of sustainability such as Omega Green. “Today is a very important day to realize that we are accomplishing one of the main tasks Mr. President gave us. We were in charge of bringing high impact investments and we are doing this in the very first year of this government. We will keep on working together in this big dream that already is becoming true,” Minister Cramer said (photo courtesy ECB Group).

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