Costa Rica mill focuses on sugar and energy

One of the largest mills of Costa Rica, El Viejo, prefers to invest in the generation of electricity from biomass from sugarcane than in ethanol production, according to JornalCana’s interview with ​​the agricultural manager of the company, Alexander Mena.

Alexandre Mena, gerente agrícola da usina El Viejo
Alexandre Mena

With a higher demand for electricity in Costa Rica, El Viejo has been investing in cogeneration from bagasse from sugarcane. The current milling capacity of the plant is 900 thousand tons of sugarcane per year, originating 1, 4 million 50kg bags of sugar and 50 MW of energy, from which 32MWh are sold. The company generates 350 permanent jobs and another 300 temporary jobs during the harvest.

In the short term, there is no investment plans for the production of ethanol. According to the manager, at the time the plant’s strategy is to be more interested in the energy market, which is more stable than the ethanol market. “Sometime in the future we should also enter the biofuels market, but for now we prefer to stay focused on sugar and energy,” he said.

For the first time in Brazil, Mena is at  Fenasucro looking for agricultural equipment suppliers, to improve productivity in the field and learn from the Brazilian’s sector experience.

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