(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – After a successful pilot phase in Wageningen, oil company Staatsolie is designing its sugarcane plantation and mill. Plans are to start building an ethanol plant by mid-2013, and to have the first liters of fuel flowing by 2015. The company expects to spend at least US$ 250 million to be ready in 2015, Anand Jagessar and Dominique van Dijk of Staatsolie’s Business Development department tell de Ware Tijd. “If all goes according to plan, we will start suppling electricity to Nickerie in 2016, while sugar production will start in 2018,” the experts add.
Although President Desi Bouterse had expressed doubts about the plan when he took office, Staatsolie now has been given the green light to continue the project. The pilot project on 8 hectares shows that Wageningen is suitable for the large-scale growth of sugarcane, while any possible negative effects on the environment or the local community would be negligible. “At first, the mill will be built and 3,000 hectares planted. Each year, 3,000 hectares will be added to the sugarcane fields,” Jagessar says. A total of 9,000 hectares will be planted. “Ethanol will be produced in Wageningen, after which it will be transported to the refinery at Tout Lui Faut to be mixed with gasoline,” the expert explains. By that time, the current preparations for expansion of the oil purification plant should be finished.