BP, Bunge, Merge Brazil Sugar and Ethanol Operations

British oil company BP and U.S. commodities group Bunge Monday announced the completion of a deal to combine sugar and ethanol operations in Brazil. The partners call BP Bunge Bioenergia a leading company in the sugar, ethanol and low carbon bioelectricity market in Brazil. The deal creates the world’s second-largest cane processor, according to Reuters. The 50-50 joint venture will manage 11 plants in five Brazilian states, and include capacity to crush 32 million metric tons of sugar cane annually. First announced in July, the Monday announcement indicates the partnership obtained all needed regulatory approvals. The sugar processing season in Brazil is coming to an end, with many mills stopping processing efforts. The new joint venture between BP and Bunge will target joint operations to begin during the next sugarcane season, which starts in April. The joint venture also focuses on ethanol, as demand in brazil is growing ahead of a new federal program next year to boost the use of biofuels in Brazil.