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Japan looks to Thailand for bioethanol that doesn't fuel food insecurity

Sumitomo, Kao explore projects to turn sugar and cassava waste into energy

A sugarcane farmer works in a burned field in Suphan Buri province, north of Bangkok. Sumitomo Corp. plans to build a plant that recycles sugarcane waste into biofuel.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Asia's first plant to mass-produce biofuel that does not reduce food stocks will be built in Thailand, according to Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp., which will back the project along with a local company.

Sumitomo has signed a memorandum of understanding for the project with Global Green Chemicals, a subsidiary of Thai petrochemical group PTT Global Chemical.

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