Friday, March 09, 2007

Ethanol oil-the future of Kenya's Sugar Industry?

While previewing Bush's visit to Brazil last night, some TV programme mentioned that one of the reasons is going their will be to sign an agreement with Brazil for export more its oil to US as part of his push to get American's into green economics.
In the '70s faced by high oil prices (Brazil was a large oil importer) and wanting to keep its industrialisation at full steam, Brazil's military junta discovered that the solution lay in its vast sugar cane plantations. They invested in, researched and refined the ethanol oil idea and then in the late 90s, left the private sector to run with it. As of yesterday’s TV programme, GM’s car plants in Brazil are 98% driven with flexi-power engines (can use oil or ethanol); flex-power cars are now outselling oil only cars and Brazil is now exporting ethanol oil to other countries not to mention the idea especially to its BRIC partners (India and China). Ethanol oil production and recent offshore oil discoveries mean that Brazil is now independent of oil imports.
Apart from Mumias, the rest of our sugar companies face an almighty survival challenge from 2008 onwards. So how about getting them to abandon sugar production and investing in ethanol oil production instead? We can then over time generate enough oil to at least fuel 50% of our economy making us less exposed to oil price movements and the multiplier effect that has on daily consumables.


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