Sao Paulo to fuel 160 city buses with Amyris' renewable diesel

By Bryan Sims | July 20, 2011

In response to Brazil’s growing need to include low-sulfur fuel in its diesel pool, Amyris Brasil S.A., a subsidiary of Amryis Inc., will supply an expected 160 city buses in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo operated by the Viacao Santa Brigida with Amyris’ renewable diesel derived from sugarcane—known locally as Diesel de Cana.

Beginning in August, the buses will run on a 10 percent blend of Amyris renewable diesel, with the remaining balance made up of biodiesel and petroleum diesel supplied by Petrobras Distribuidora. Amyris’ supply contract with Petrobras extends out to the end of 2012.

“Following the successfully launch of our first industrial-scale production facility and the positive results of the fleet testing in Brazil, we are thrilled to be a commercial supplier of renewable fuel for buses in Brazil’s largest city,” said Amyris CEO John Melo. “Over the next year, as we expand our fuel supply agreements with bus fleets in Sao Paulo, we expect to achieve $10 million to $12 million in annual diesel sales.”

“Brazil’s growing demand for low-sulfur diesel creates a significant opportunity to highlight the superior performance and benefits of our renewable diesel, while allowing the country to reduce diesel fuel imports, which comprised nearly 20 percent of Brazil’s diesel needs in 2010,” Melo added.

Amyris’ sugarcane-based diesel is expected to help meet the city’s target of reducing fossil fuel use in the public transit system. The city of Sao Paulo has more than 15,000 buses that consume approximately 450 million liters (118.9 million gallons) of diesel annually. Under city law, Sao Paulo is working to reduce fossil-based diesel use by 10 percent every year through 2018.

“This is a major milestone for Amyris and the city of Sao Paulo,” said Paulo Diniz, president of Amyris Brasil S.A. “The testing we undertook last year with our partners SPTrans, Mercedes-Benz, Petrobras Distribuidora and Viacao Santa Brigida confirmed that a 10 percent blend of Amyris diesel in Petrobras’ already low-sulfur diesel (B5 S50) can lower opacity (smoke) up to 40 percent.”

The leading commercial vehicle manufacturers in Brazil, led by Mercedes-Benz, issued warranties for the use of 10 percent Amyris renewable diesel blends in Brazil. The pure-hydrocarbon renewable diesel from plant-based sugars doesn’t require engine or infrastructure modifications.

Amyris touts that its renewable diesel has proven, superior cold weather performance, high cetane and comparable energy density to petroleum-derived diesel, enabling the company to achieve the highest blending registration by the U.S. EPA. OEM partners continue to validate that Amyris’ fuels enhance the performance of existing fuels and enable significant reductions in greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions.  


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