Colombia's President Álvaro Uribe has laid the first stone of an ethanol plant in Tuta, Boyacá department, Colombia's presidential office said in a statement.
The plant, which is slated to begin operations in mid-2009, will produce nearly 300,000l/d of ethanol from sugar beets.
Nearly US$16mn is being invested in the plant, but a total of US$270mn will go into the entire project that will see more than 10,000ha of land put into beet production.
A second ethanol plant set for construction in Cundinamarca will produce nearly 600,000l/d starting in 2010.
The plants will receive a duty-free designation, which will require the plant operator to pay a 15% tax on profits. No taxes, however, will be charged on machinery imports or product sales, according to local press in Colombia.
The project is being developed by a strategic alliance between the Maquiltec Group and Chile's Campos Chilenos with Colombia's Sena governmental agency.