Pakistan seeks Brazilian technology for ethanol productivity

ISLAMABAD: Federal Secretary Ministry of Industries Aziz Ahmad Bilour on Monday said the government would collaborate with the Brazilian government for transfer of knowledge and technology to enhance quality and productivity of ethanol.

He made these remarks while holding a meeting with a Brazilian delegation which comprising Bruno de Amorim Maciel, project analyst (Brazilian Cooperation Agency-ABC), Gabriel Alves Maciel, (Expert on Genetic Enhancement), Vanildo Alberto Leal Bezerra Cavalcanti, (Expert on Phytopathology) and Minucio Monteiro Filho, (Expert on Technical Assistance and Rural Extension).

He apprised the experts about the status of ethanol distilleries in Pakistan and said that there is an urgent need to improve the efficiency of ethanol producing units in Pakistan as the products produced here is not of premium quality. The secretary informed the delegation that there are 19 ethanol refineries in Pakistan which produce about half a million ton of ethanol, 50 percent of which is the non-fuel ethanol. He said the government of Pakistan initiated E- 10 Scheme in which 10 percent of ethanol was to be blended with the traditional fuel for usage in vehicles but this did not prove successful as ethanol left deposits damaging parts of engine and reducing efficiency.

He said that the ministry of industry is interested in getting technical assistance form Brazilian experts in the up gradation of existing distilleries, pre-treatment of sugarcane molasses so that it can be preserved for a longer time and use of ethanol as a fuel in power stations. Bilour also floated the idea to explore opportunities to offer short duration technical training and fellowships in the Brazilian Ethanol Training Institutes for Pakistani technicians and scholars in ethanol industry.

Representing the delegation, Bruno said that there is a great potential for cooperation between the two countries in the fields of ethanol production, renewable energy, hybrid seed production, off-season vegetable production, bio fuel, resource conservation and pests control technology. He said that Brazil have an advanced ethanol producing technology and is using 100 percent ethanol in the vehicles since last 20 years. Pakistan can greatly benefit from the Brazilian experience and expertise as it has plenty of raw material required for this purpose, he added. Minucio assured Bilour that his government would look into the proposal for providing scholarships to Pakistani engineers and technicians in ethanol technology, as this would prove a swift mode for transfer of technology and knowledge.

The ministry of industry also proposed Brazilian cooperation with the local automotive industry for manufacturing of Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV) using hydrous alcohol. Similarly, it was suggested by the Ministry to have joint ventures with Brazilian companies for developing and marketing other products of ethanol in Pakistan and in the international market. Feasibility for diversification of ethanol use in the manufacture of Alco-chemicals and other sectors aside from transportation was also sought.

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