The visit of present George Bush to Brazil in April 2007 was a symbol of the huge international interest in ethanol production in Brazil. Over the next decade, some have investments of up to 100 billion dollars.
But Bush was not the only one showing interest. George Soros, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Larry Page and Sergei Brin (the founders of Google), Vinod Khosla (founder of Sun Microsystems) – all are studying investments in ethanol.
Soros has already invested $900 million, via Adeco, in the construction of 3 ethanol plants in Mato Grosso do Sul. Gates has invested $84 million in CA-based Pacific Ethanol.
Also George Bush's brother Jeb – co-pesident of the international Ethanol Commission (IEC) – visited Brasil and announced that the Interamerican Development Bank (BID) is preparing to finance projects in Brasil. A first project of $570 million is already under way.
Also Brazilian development banks like the BNDES are prepared to finance ethanol projects, and have reserved a budget of 7 billion reais (almost $3.5 billion dollars) for this.
The BNDES strategy, as announced by its president Luciano Coutinho is to either finance up to 70% of a project or become a shareholder in new projects, owning up to 30% of the shares.
Finally, also the government is aligning a few measures in its 'economic acceleration plan' (PAC) to support the bioenergy industry and improve logistics for new refineries. Today, Brasil has about 350 sugar cane plants but the target is to add at least another 80 to 100 plants.