BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s State Development & Investment Corporation (SDIC) is aiming to produce 4 million to 5 million tonnes of ethanol per year in the next three to five years, a company official said on Friday, as the Beijing-backed firm seeks to become China’s top producer of the biofuel.
China said last month it plans to roll out the use of ethanol in gasoline nationally by 2020 to boost industrial demand for corn and clean up the nation’s choking smog.
SDIC has already begun construction of its first plant in Liaoning province in the northeast, with 300,000 tonnes of capacity, chairman Wang Huisheng told reporters.
It plans to build another five plants in provinces including Jilin and Heilongjiang, and buy some additional facilities, said Guo Zhongjie, the firm’s director of strategy and development, at the same briefing.
SDIC will also develop corn processing in the northeast, said Wang.
China currently produces less than 2.5 million tonnes of ethanol a year but its plan to blend ethanol with gasoline nationwide could see its needs increase to 15 million tonnes annually by 2020.
Reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton; Editing by Nick Macfie