Brazil Company Raises over US$ 1 Billion for Ethanol Projects

Grupo Farias ethanol plant in Brazil A new Brazilian company, Vital Renewable Energy Company (VREC), announced that it has secured funding from private investors in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, and is ready to launch renewable energy projects in Brazil, focused mainly on ethanol and electricity generation.

The funding, which will exceed US$ 1 billion, was completed by an international consortium of investors led by Paladin Capital Group, based in Washington, DC.  Vision Brazil Investments played a leading role in the structuring of the investment and the funds advised by it also invested in the financing round.

Among the other investors are Leaf Clean Energy Company, Petercam Asset Management and PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund.

VREC, in partnership with Grupo Farias – a traditional sugarcane and ethanol producer with over 10.5 million tons of installed crushing capacity and a nationwide presence – has already begun constructing its first production unit, located in the state of São Paulo.

"As a result of over 20 months of detailed industry analysis and the review of numerous agricultural-industrial projects, we selected a portfolio of initial investments focused on ethanol production and associated energy generation capable of delivering the returns expected by our investors" said Ricardo Roccia, CEO of VREC.

Michael Steed, Founder and Managing Partner of Paladin, said he sees Brazil as "the world leader in the cost effective production of ethanol and it continues to be one of the most exciting frontiers for growth in the renewable fuels sector."

Steed believes that VREC, along with its strategic partner Grupo Farias, is "well-positioned to take advantage of the enormous global market opportunity for sugar-based ethanol." He added that VREC "has the technical understanding and market vision to achieve near term successes as well as deliver on all its potential for growth on the long term."

VREC plans to invest in a broad range of new projects in Brazil related to ethanol and energy generation. They also will consider purchases of existing ethanol facilities and investment opportunities in ethanol infrastructure.

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