Maple Energy plc (AIM: MPLE; LIMA: MPLE) announce the start-up of its ethanol plant and provide an update on the development of its ethanol project.
Maple is pleased to confirm the substantial completion of the Ethanol Plant except for certain works primarily related to the commissioning of the electric power generation facilities. The Company has commenced harvesting and processing its sugar cane and expects to begin producing ethanol within the next several days. The amounts of sugar cane harvested and processed as well as ethanol to be produced are expected to gradually increase during the second quarter of 2012 during this initial phase of operations. The power generation facilities, which are not necessary to produce ethanol, are expected to be fully completed, commissioned, and placed into operation during the middle of 2012.
The initial production of ethanol is expected to be sold into the local market and/or stored for later sale into the export market. Ethanol for the export market will be stored at the ethanol storage, loading, and shipping facility near the port of Paita, which is being developed by Penta Tanks Terminals S.A. pursuant to a contract with Maple to build, own, and operate this facility. A substantial portion of the facility, including the storage facility which is now available for use, is completed, and the entire facility is expected to be placed into operation in the second quarter of 2012.
Rex Canon, CEO of Maple Energy, commented today:
"We are delighted to report the start-up of our ethanol plant and share this exciting news with all our shareholders. This event marks a key milestone for the Company in its initiative to develop one of the largest ethanol projects in Peru with the goal of being a low-cost, globally competitive ethanol producer."
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