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JBS invests in new biodiesel plant in Santa Catarina

JBS invests in new biodiesel plant in Santa Catarina
The planned biodiesel plant in Mafra will expand the use of co-products in the Seara Alimentos pork and poultry production chain (photo courtesy Seara).

In Brazil, JBS, one of the world’s leading food industry companies has announced that it is investing BRL 180 million (≈ US$47.23 million via its Seara Alimentos processed meats brand to build and operate a third biodiesel plant, this time in Mafra in the State of Santa Catarina (SC).

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The plant will be operated by JBS Biodiesel, a JBS Novos Negócios division. The large-scale plant will use raw material from the Seara production chain, including pork and poultry fat, to make biodiesel.

It will also work closely with the soybean complex, supplementing the raw material base.

JBS Biodiesel’s mission is to add value to JBS’s production chain waste. The company has a successful track record of reusing beef tallow and other inputs, such as used cooking oil (UCO), to make biodiesel.

Its focus on sustainability will receive an additional boost with the new plant in Mafra, which will expand its operations in the pork and poultry supply chain.

The Company’s investment in this new operation reflects the positive outlook for the Brazilian industry. Based on the RenovaBio program, when B15 takes effect in 2023, diesel will have to contain 15 percent biodiesel. With this new plant, JBS Biodiesel will more than double its capacity and is set to produce over 600 million liters of biodiesel a year, said Alexandre Pereira, Director at JBS Biodiesel.

Strategic location

The JBS Biodiesel plant in Mafra will cover an area of 76 000 m2 and will produce 900 tonnes of fuel a day.

Building the plant will create around 400 jobs. Once construction has been concluded by the first half of 2021, it will create 100 direct and around 300 indirect jobs, supporting the regional economy.

The city of Mafra is strategically located for the national biofuel industry. In addition to efficient road and rail embarkation and disembarkation logistics, it is 120 km from Araucária, State of Paraná (PR) where one of Brazil’s largest diesel blending and distribution units is located, the President Getulio Vargas Refinery (Repar).

Major food producer in Santa Catarina

JBS has over 30 Seara plants in 18 cities in Santa Catarina alone, producing pork, poultry, industrialized products, and animal feed and operating incubation centers, logistics terminals, and distribution centers.

In the state, JBS employs around 16 500 people and has a network of 2 500 integrated farmers.

Santa Catarina is a major food production center for the global market. The decision to invest in building a biodiesel plant in Mafra underlines the synergy across JBS’s businesses, which also helps to increase sustainability at Seara’s operations, said Joanita Karoleski Maestri, CEO of Seara.

Third biodiesel plant

JBS Biodiesel currently operates two other plants, one in Lins, in the State of São Paulo (SP), and another in Campo Verde, in the State of Mato Grosso (MT).

With this third unit, JBS Biodiesel will become one of the country’s 10 top biodiesel producers. In 2018 alone, it sold 260 million liters of biofuel, approximately 25 percent up on its 2017 volume of 210 million liters.

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