Brazil Biofuel, Sustainable Projects Get $100 Million From IDB

(Bloomberg) — The Inter-American Development Bank approved
$100 million in financing for biofuel and sustainable
agriculture projects in Brazil.

The funds will be for investments through Banco ABC Brasil
SA
, said Luiz Antonio Assumpcao Neto, director of foreign
funding at ABC. The Brazil bank has one year to choose projects
and existing businesses to finance.

“At least 20 companies will receive the support,” Neto
said Thursday in a telephone interview from Sao Paulo. “The
objective is to give access to different funding for companies
focused in sustainability.”

In 2011, President Dilma Rousseff’s government set price
caps for gasoline in an effort to control inflation, forcing
producers to curb ethanol prices. Since then, 47 ethanol mills
were shut, according to a December report from Brazil’s sugar-cane trade group Unica.

ABC Bank has a loan portfolio of about $1 billion for
agribusiness companies, which represents about 11 percent of the
bank’s total, Neto said. The bank will target corporate lending
to sugar, ethanol and biomass producers for pre-export finance,
working capital, sugar-cane fields re-planting and expansion,
selling the harvest and equipment, it said in a statement in the
Inter-American Development Bank’s website.

Neto didn’t provide more information on the financing line.
IDB’s spokesman wasn’t available to comment, according to a
press officer.

The ethanol industry’s debt has increased to 70 billion
reais ($22 billion), according to Unica Chief Executive Officer
Elizabeth Farina.

“There are many companies that have been able to adapt and
gain efficiency, even in the country’s negative environment,”
Neto said.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Vanessa Dezem in Sao Paulo at
vdezem@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at
landberg@bloomberg.net
Robin Saponar, Carlos Caminada

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