The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Government of Guatemala, through its Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), signed this week a Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of a pilot project on the and mixture and use of ethanol and in support of the formation of the Technical Unit on Biofuels.
The hemispheric institution and the government of the Central American country will jointly promote the initiative that aims to reduce the use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. The pilot plan establishes the use of biofuels to assess their environmental and mechanical performance using a sample of 20 to 25 cars that use different percentages of ethanol and petroleum blend fuels.
The signing ceremony was held in Guatemala City and was attended by the Minister of Energy and Mines, Erick Archila; the Deputy Minister of Sustainable Development, Ivanova Ancheta; the OAS Representative in Guatemala, Milagro Martinez; and representatives from the private sector and academics.
Minister Archila stressed the commitment of his country to the development of biofuels, and expressed his hope that the agreement would contribute to sustainable development, saying "one of the cornerstones of the country's energy policy is to seek new paths to energy security, so that in the future we may have a better economy in the use of fuels and can begin to change this paradigm using ethanol."
For her part, Deputy Minister Ancheta said the pilot plan is based on technical rules that are supported by academics and added that all sectors that have a stake in the chain of distribution of fuels will be invited to learn about the development of this initiative.
The OAS representative in Guatemala, Milagro Martinez, said the results of the pilot plan will be announced in a report to inform the public about the details of the benefits and challenges in the use of ethanol as a biofuel.
Guatemala produces some 250 million liters of fuel ethanol per year, and exports almost 90 percent of its production. This initiative seeks to document the results of the use of ethanol in the conditions of the country, and will also serve as an exercise to provide information about the technical and logistical use of biofuel as an oxygenate for gasoline.
The initiative is carried out under the framework of a cooperation agreement that has the support of the United States and Brazil, which aims to support the development of biofuels in the region.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.