Maple Ethanol: Innovative biofuels project in Peru
In northern Peru, the IDB supported an innovative private biofuels project – Maple Ethanol –entailing a combined sugarcane plantation, ethanol refinery and electricity plant that aimed to create approximately 500 permanent jobs for local communities.
Led by Maple Energy, the project consisted of a 14 thousand hectare sugarcane plantation and an ethanol refinery with a production capacity of 35 million gallons of biofuel per year.
The refinery was coupled with a biomass-based cogeneration facility to produce 37 megawatts of clean energy to be used for its own consumption and the surplus is sold to the Peruvian grid. Maple Ethanol used state-of-the-art irrigation methods, which encouraged the sustainable use of water resources in the region.
IDB’s participation through a US$25 million loan enabled the project to complete its financing plan with long-term funding.
The project has had a host of positive development impacts in Peru:
- As part of its Corporate Responsibility Program, Maple has been investing in several projects with local communities, including sustainable ranching, reforestation, efficient family stoves, bee keeping, fruit production, and sustainable use of forest resources.
- Creation of a private protected area of approximately 2,100 hectares with several biomass of dry forest.
- Best management practices for sugarcane plantations, including improved breeds, biological control of pests, minimization of pesticides and avoidance of straw burning.
- State-of-the-art drip irrigation system that saves and encourages the sustainable use of water resources.
- Maple has been working with local authorities for the conservation of cultural and paleontological sites.
- The biomass-based cogeneration facility produces 37 MW of clean energy that is sold to the national grid.
- Maple is making yearly contributions to local governments as part of its investment plan, which is being used to carry out social development projects.
- Over 2,000 jobs for local communities have been generated.