The GSR Team and GSR Partners will build, own and operate the GSR Biorefinery in Belize. The equipment for the biorefinery will be provided by the same Brazilian manufacturers who supplied Shell’s #1 Brazil biorefinery. The GSR Team will optimize this technology for carbon efficiency and cost-effectiveness, with the goal that GSR Biorefinery in Belize will produce ethanol at a breakeven price of US$1.50/gallon – at US$0.50/gallon less than in Brazil.
Furthermore, GSR has partnered with the world’s-best sugarcane experts to enhance sugarcane productivity to further decrease Belize’s already-low sugarcane production costs to assure long-term supply. Free of legacy technical (and institutional) constraints that have hampered the growth of the Brazilian sugarcane ethanol industry, the GSR Biorefinery will become the lowest cost sugarcane ethanol producer and a model for the expansion of the fuel ethanol industry.
For Sharon Hughes, Co-Founder and CEO of GSR Energy Holdings, it is not just an optimism, but a confidence that comes from decades working in for the biggest oil companies, understanding refineries and learning from the mistakes that project developers have made in the past.
“We are experts, not just project developers. We wanted to do this ourselves not only because we understand the business, but we also have a passion that goes beyond the science, and we know the positive impacts bioethanol could have in places like Belize. We know that we can ensure gender equity across the entire value chain, see high profits and investment into SIDs and ensure that ours is a solution resilient to climate crises.”
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‘PFAN has helped us focus our approach and attract foreign direct investment. I am comfortable telling you the facts; PFAN has helped us hone our presentation. We have a very small amount of time to catch the investors’ attention. PFAN has helped us improve how we do that.’
The project has six pillars, each of which are achievable at scale, according to Hughes. From supporting the Belize economy, ensuring profit-sharing for all employees, to becoming the world’s first gender-equal refinery, Hughes is raring to go. “We hit all the SDG goals and we’re here to lead by example.”
While the project will launch in Belize – the most cost-effective and most viable country to launch in – the plan is to replicate the project globally, and specifically in countries most vulnerable to climate change. According to Hughes, GSR and biorefineries just “make sense”.