Both sectors contribute with 6.2% of primary energy production and 5.5%
of secondary energy production in Argentina. The biodiesel industry
leads the growth ranking: in 10 years, it increased its production
capacity by 700%.
Three indicators show the sectors contribution to the the Energy Offer in
our country. In the first place they contribute with 6.2% of the primary
and 5.5% of the secondary energy production in Argentina. Biodiesel and
Bioethanol, together, contribute 4% of the Argentine production of
secondary energy. These are relevant figures, taking into account that the
Biodiesel Industry has started showing an important production capacity
just since 2007, with the installation of large factories, and the
corn-based bioethanol industry was born very recently, in 2012. From now on
the indicators analysis is presented:
Indicator No 1: Field and Agroindustry contribute with 6.2% of the
Argentine primary energy production.
These sectors make an interesting contribution to the production of primary
energy in Argentina through four components: Vegetable oils (the one that
emerges from the industrialization of soy bean and sunflower seed),
firewood, cane bagasse sugar and vegetable alcohols (that arise from the
processing of corn and sugarcane). These four components produced around
4,596 thousand TOE (tonne of oil equivalent) in 2016, which represents 6.2%
of the primary energy production (PE) of the Argentine Republic. The
Argentine total PE production amounted to 74,358 thousand TOE in that year.
Globally, Natural Gas and Petroleum both produce almost 65% of primary
energy. At a local level, however, these two produce both almost 90% of
Argentina's primary energy. The fact that the field and the agro-industry
are generating a little more than 6% of the primary energy is a remarkable
achievement of Argentina, especially considering that for the year 2007
there were almost no important biodiesel or corn-based bioethanol
industries in the national territory. In the last 10 years, with new
investments in this field, this important participation was reached. The
data can be seen in table No 1.
Indicator No 2: Field and Agroindustry contribute with 5.5% of the
Argentine secondary energy production.
Field and agorindustry show a relevant contribution to the secondary energy
production in our country, as it can be seen in table No 2. It participates
throughout the following components: biodiesel, bioethanol, charcoal and
coke. These items produced around 4,537 thousand TOE in 2016, which
represents 5.5% of the secondary energy production (SE) of the Argentine
Republic. The total national SE production amounts 81,937 thousand TOE.
It is important to highlight that six traditional items represent 85% of
secondary energy production: gas distributed by networks, electric power,
diesel plus gas oil, naphtha for motorbikes and liquefied gas. The 5.5%
contribution from field and agro-industry is very helpful to satisfy the
energy demand in our country.
Indicator No 3: Biodiesel and Bioethanol contributes with 4% of the
national secondary energy production.
Biodiesel and Bioethanol contribute together 4% of the national production
of secondary energy, as it can be seen in Table No 2. The Argentine
Biodiesel Industry is a surprising case: in the year 2007 it used to have
only 9 factories throughout the national territory with a theoretical
production capacity of 665 million liters (based on USDA). Today, it has 37
plants (including some of the largest in the world) with a theoretical
production capacity of 5,400 million liters. This capacity was multiplied
by 8 in just 10 years. Another huge positive impact is the employment
generated by these plants, which amounts 2,000 direct jobs and no less than
4,000 indirect jobs.
Also, the corn-based bioethanol industry has had an important growth since
2012, when the first plant was installed in “Río Cuarto”, in the Córdoba
province. This sector started growing as a consequence of the obligatory
blend rate settled by the Argentinian Government.
Nowadays there are five companies in Argentina with a combined theoretical
production capacity of around 514,500 cubic meters of ethanol per year. The
firm with the biggest annual production capacity is “ProMaiz S.A.”, owned
by “Aceitera General Deheza S.A.” and “Bunge Argentina S.A.”, which can
produce 135,000 cubic meters of ethanol per year. Next is “ACA Bio” from
the Argentinian Association of Cooperatives, with a capacity of 125,000
cubic meters per year. On the third and fourth place are “Diaser” and “Bio
4” with 82,500 and 82,000 cubic meters, respectively.
On the other hand, there are 10 important factories which obtain ethanol by
processing sugar cane. Six of them are located in the province of Tucumán,
2 in Salta and 2 in Jujuy. In total, according to data from the Argentine
Minister of Agroindustry, the theoretical production capacity of these 10
firms is around 482,850 cubic meters per year.
In conclusion, Argentine total ethanol production (with its 15 main
factories) amounts 997,350 cubic meters per year.
Tonne of Oil Equivalent (TOE
): is a unit of energy defined as the amount of energy released by burning
one tonne of crude oil. It is approximately 42 gigajoules or 11,630
Primary and Secondary Energy
: The planet supplies us with energy from its natural resources (the sun,
fossil fuels, wind, natural gas, etc.). Most of the time these resources
are not directly usable, they need to be transformed, physically or
chemically, for its final use. The energy available in nature, before being
converted or transformed, is what is called "primary energy". Once
transformed it becomes “secondary energy”.