July 30, 2019 / 8:09 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's JBS invests in new biodiesel plant amid clean fuel push

(Adds information from statement, quote)

By Roberto Samora

SAO PAULO, July 30 (Reuters) - A unit of Brazil's JBS SA plans to invest 180 million reais ($47.5 million) to build a biodiesel plant entering service by 2021, as the company looks to cash in on Brazil's accelerating clean fuel drive, according to a statement on Tuesday.

Seara Alimentos, JBS' processed foods unit, will use fat and scraps from pork and poultry as raw material for biodiesel. JBS, the world's largest meat producer, added the new plant in Santa Catarina state will double the company's biodiesel capacity to over 600 million liters per year.

"By 2023, the RenovaBio (cleaner fuel program) will require a 15% biodiesel mix in the diesel," Alexandre Pereira, JBS Biodiesel director, said. Currently the mandatory mix is 10%.

Soybean is the main raw material for biodiesel production in Brazil.

JBS already operates two other biodiesel plants in Brazil running mainly on bovine fat. With its third unit under way, JBS will seek to strengthen its position among Brazil's 10 largest biodiesel producers.

Last year, JBS sales of that type of fuel went up by 25% to 260 million liters, the statement said. ($1 = 3.7888 reais) (Reporting by Roberto SamoraWriting by Ana ManoEditing by Susan Thomas and Cynthia Osterman)

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