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Companies in Tabasco, Mexico, are looking for franchisees to sell imported bio-ethanol at gas stations and hope to eventually produce the fuel locally, according to the state's agricultural development agency Sedafop.
The firms are initially looking to sell 14 franchises, Mexico's state news agency Notimex reported, without disclosing names.
Sedafop head Pedro Jiménez León (pictured) said deals with eight have been reached so far and that the fuel will be imported from the US and stored at a terminal in the Gulf coast port of Dos Bocas.
"From there the service stations will be supplied to generate demand and, once we have that, the next step is to build a bio-ethanol plant as part of [agricultural development plan] Plan Chontalpa," he was quoted as saying.
Jiménez León estimated the plant could cost up to 1.5bn pesos (US$78mn).
He said ethanol use would benefit the state's sugar cane farmers because if the export quota to the US is reduced, there is a risk that the crop's price would plummet. With the installation of a bio-ethanol production plant, the price of cane could be sustained, he said, adding that cars manufactured in Mexico since 2010 can use bio-ethanol-gasoline fuel blends without their engines having to be adapted.