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Cablegate: Ecopetrol to Construct Palm Oil Biodiesel Plant

VZCZCXYZ0019
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #0618 3241749
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201749Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0871
INFO RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BOGOTA 010618

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FAITH CORNEILLE WHA/EPSC,JEFFREY IZZO EB, MATTHEW MCMANUS
EB, MATTHEW ROONEY EB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG PREL ECON PGOV CO
SUBJECT: ECOPETROL TO CONSTRUCT PALM OIL BIODIESEL PLANT

REF: BOGOTA 10235

1. Ecopetrol announced on November 15,2006 that it intends
to build a biodiesel plant in Magdalena Department with an
initial investment of USD 23 million. The plant is very close
to Ecopetrol's refinery operations at Barrancabermeja, and
would begin operations in 2008 (exact date unknown). The
plant will have an annual capacity of an estimated 100,000
tons of biodiesel utilizing palm oil as the raw material
(reftel). This would equate to approximately 2200 barrels of
biodiesel fuel daily - about 40 percent of current domestic
demand - utilizing a mixture of 5 percent biofuel with 95
percent diesel gasoline. Ecopetrol officials estimate that
the facility will generate 4000 new jobs.

2. This is Ecopetrol's first direct investment in biodiesel.
GOC plans for partial privatization of Ecopetrol (reftel)
contemplate increased biofuels production in conjunction with
augmented investments in gasoline and diesel production.
WOOD

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