Commercial operation of the US$280 million 37MW power plant, located in the Piura Region on the north coast of Peru, had originally been planned for 2011, but was delayed to this year due to a dispute with third-party providers. A dispute with one third-party provide is still ongoing, but the plant has finally been completed and is generating electricity, Maple said.
The company expects to gradually increase the amount of electricity produced during the third quarter of 2012 - eventually providing sufficient power to satisfy the requirements of the ethanol project, while enabling Maple to begin selling excess electricity production to the national power grid by the end of the third quarter of 2012.
Penta Tanks Terminals S.A. completed the installation and commissioning of the ethanol storage, loading, and shipping facilities near the port of Paita. The loading and shipping facilities, which form part of the Penta Facilities, are expected to be operational during August.
First ethanol export
In anticipation of these facilities being placed into operation, Maple has been storing a substantial portion of the fuel-grade ethanol produced from the ethanol project in the storage tanks at the Penta Facilities. The Company expects to export its first shipment of ethanol in August.
Over 165,000 tonnes of sugar cane have been harvested and processed by the company since it began processing sugar cane at the end of March 2012. Maple expects to increase the amount of sugar cane it harvests and processes per day as the company continues to “ramp up” the processing of sugar cane and the production of ethanol during its initial phase of operations, it said. It expects to harvest and process around 900,000 tonnes of sugar cane from its plantation during 2012.
Maple “continues to be engaged in a dispute with one of its third-party providers” for the project, the firm added. In 2012 arbitration proceedings were initiated by this party as a result of the dispute. In addition, the firm is seeking to implement certain interim remedies through the Peruvian court system. “Although no assurance can be given, Maple believes it has meritorious defenses to the claims brought by the provider, and the company intends to defend its position vigorously,” Maple said.