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Belarus' government has signed a business cooperation agreement with Ireland's Greenfield Project Management Limited to procure raw materials for bioethanol fuel production.

The agreement was signed by Vice Premier Ivan Bambiza on behalf of Belarus, while John Scott, the finance director of Greenfield's Belarusian Office, did it on behalf of the foreign partner.

Also in attendance at the ceremony was Belarusian Prime Minister Sergey Sidorski and Ann McClain, chairwoman of the board of directors, Greenfield Project Management Ltd.

According to the agreement, Belarus undertakes to procure for Greenfield vegetable raw materials, including grain and sugar beet, Bambiza told reporters.
In his words, Belarus has 6 months to develop a complex plan intended to grow grain production in Belarus by 1.5 million tonnes (the surplus grain is required for bioethanol fuel production).

In turn, Greenfield has undertaken to draw funds, including direct investments and bank loans, Bambiza said.

According to Mr. Scott, the project is due to be implemented in 2009-2010.

The Belarusian partners of the Irish company are Mozyr-based Ethanol factory and Bobruisk Hydrolysis Plant - the produces of spirit-containing products. Greenfield Project is poised to have two joint ventures - COOO Greenfield-Ethanol-Mozyr and COOO Greenfield-Ethanol-Bobruisk - registered in Belarus, after which it will start building two ethanol-making facilities, with capacities of 10 million decaliters and 55 million decaliters, respectively. The total value of the project is EUR 220 million, mostly covered by loans from ABN Amro Bank (the Netherlands).

Greenfield is expected to have a 80% stake in the shareholding structure of both joint ventures, with 20% controlled by Belarus.

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