Pilon reveals how will be the harvest of Santa Maria
Leadership of the sugarcane industry, José Pilon, who was president of the Organization of Cane Planters of Center-South of Brazil (Orplana), manages the Usina Santa Maria, located in Cerquilho (SP).
Like other units of the Center-South, the Santa Maria also faces a ‘wet’ 2015/16 crop, with high rates of rainfall until the beginning of July.
But Pilon has strategies for harvest.
In an interview to JornalCana Portal, José Pilon tells how he manages the 15/16 crop of Usina Santa Maria.
How the rain influences the 15/16 crop of Santa Maria?
José Pilon – Stops all. In the first week of this month [July], we stopped harvesting for three days. One of these days, we began to harvest after lunch and at around 2 am we had to stop again because of new rain.
Rainfall is a problem?
José Pilon – The rains are needed. You have to think of the coming harvest. Anyway, at the moment they disturb a little.
What is the grinding scheduled for Santa Maria?
José Pilon – 1,6 million tons of sugarcane. Much more than the 14/15 crop, when we ground 1,027 million tons.
So the Santa Maria now processes the cane not ground the previous crop?
José Pilon – The fall in 14/15 was 31% over the previous harvest. And we have some new sugarcane to grind this year.
How should be the production mix?
José Pilon – Half and half
What is the estimate production of ethanol and sugar?
José Pilon – About 70 million liters of the two types of ethanol and 1,5 million tons of sugar. We will make a little more ethanol over the previous harvest.
How much of Santa Maria’s sugarcane is itself?
José Pilon – Of all the cane, 70% are owned and 30% of partners.
How is the investment in renovation of sugarcane fields?
José Pilon – We are planting. Don’t stop.
Do you have used the funding to invest in renovation?
José Pilon – Yes. We have no problem to get funding.
In your opinion, the 15/16 will have good cane grinding index?
José Pilon – Yes. We should reach 600 million tons in the Center-South. And what can happen is to stay standing cane. Because of the rains.
There will be bisada cane in your mill?
José Pilon– In our case, it’s on measure. But if the rains continue, it will be complicated.
How you evaluate investments in cogeneration?
José Pilon – While there is no definition, I produce electricity from biomass only for not paying energy. I produce 5 megawatts (MW) for own use. To sell [electricity], you have to invest without guarantee. You invest [illustrates] R$ 100 million and you have no guarantee. Which guaranteed the government gives? With the spot market has winning slightly. But you can’t keep depending on the spot.
If there is any definition, would you invest in the sale of cogenerated electricity?
José Pilon – Yes. As I think about [producing] second-generation ethanol.
And if there is any foreign group with the proposed of purchase your mill?
José Pilon – I don’t sell. I live for that [mill]. We don’t put eggs in just one basket. We put in several baskets. Therefore, even if a basket falls, don’t break the eggs at once.