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Bolivia opens its first biodiesel factory and will reduce oil imports. And emissions.

Today is Tuesday, April 9 2024.

A few days ago, Bolivia inaugurated its first biodiesel plant, near the Guillermo Elder Bell Refinery in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

Designed to produce 1,500 barrels per day - about 86 million liters per year - it will replace up to 48% of the country's diesel imports.

Biodiesel is a more sustainable, high-quality fuel with lower CO2 emissions. In Bolivia it will be made through the transesterification of vegetable oils. The raw material for Plant I comes from plantations of oleiferous species, such as soy, macororó, jatropha, totaí, cusi, among others, which are produced in the region. Other new agricultural frontiers are also being considered and new jobs will be generated in the Bolivian agro-industrial sector.

With investements of about USD$54.8 million, this first plant was built by state-owned oil company Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB). There are other industrial plants under construction:

  • the Biodiesel Plant II in El Alto, planned to add 9,000 barrels per day,

  • the so-called Plant HVO - Renewable Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil - that will convert kitchen oil into renewable diesel, and

  • the Plant Pirólisis to treat plastic trash.

Click here for the press release from the Ministerio de Hidrocarburos y Energías de Bolivia. And here for the press release from YPFB about the opening of Planta de Biodiésel I.

Portal Ministerio de Hidrocarburos y Energías. Press release Planta de Biodiésel 1. 2024.
Portal Ministerio de Hidrocarburos y Energías. Press release Planta de Biodiésel 1. 2024.

Still about Planta Biodiésel I, by clicking at the image below you have a 3 minutes YouTube video (in Spanish) from Noticias Positivas de Bolivia.

Earlier 2024, YPFB posted that the most important equipments in the plant were imported from Italy, Belgium, Brazil, India, Paraguay, Peru, China, Argentina, Turkey, United States, Japan, United Kingdom, India, Spain and Sweden. In other words, a truly global project.

Bolivia has just over 12 million inhabitants. With an area of ​​1,098,581 km2 (424,164 sq mi) Bolivia is the fifth largest country in South America, after Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Colombia, and, alongside Paraguay, is one of the two landlocked countries in the Americas (source: Wikipedia).


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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