April 27, 2011
China should boost its bioethanol production as an alternative to fossil fuels, a Cofco official said.
Cofco, one of the state's main grain trading and food manufacturing agencies, is advocating greater use of bioethanol to offset high energy consumption and rising oil prices.
The company is trying to master the technology to produce ethanol from corn stalks rather than the main parts of the plants, said Yue Guojun, vice president of Cofco and general manager of the group's biochemical and bio-energy division.
China banned the use of corn for ethanol production in 2007, because it had caused large increases in corn prices for the livestock industry.
Earlier this year, Yue said corn-based ethanol production will not harm China's grain security because no more than four million tonnes, less than 1% of China's total harvest, would be used each year.
Cofco is currently funding Danish biotechnology company Novozymes development of China's largest cellulosic ethanol factory, scheduled to start output in September in Heilongjiang province. The company targets output of 10,000 tonnes of fuel ethanol a year.
Cofco projected that its bioethanol output could reach 10 million tonnes annually by 2020, it said.