Cuba Seeks to Increase Ethanol Production

Cuba is investing in its ethanol refineries with hopes of increasing its production of the renewable fuel fivefold as it bets on growing ethanol demand in the face of rising petroleum prices.

Published: 21-Jun-2006

HAVANA — Cuba is investing in its ethanol refineries with hopes of increasing its production of the renewable fuel fivefold as it bets on growing ethanol demand in the face of rising petroleum prices, a leading sugar expert said Wednesday.

Luis Galvez of the Cuban Research Institute for Sugar Cane Derivatives said by 2010 Cuba hoped to be producing 500 million liters (about 130 million gallons) of ethanol annually, which he said would be a fivefold increase of what it produces now.

Galvez spoke to about 200 representatives from a dozen countries at an international congress on sugar and its derivatives. He did not give a current production figure for Cuban ethanol, but did say the island had 17 distilleries capable of producing up to 180 million liters (about 48 million gallons) annually.

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