More than 500,000 gross tonnes of sugar cane have been harvested at AIM-listed Maple Energy's Peruvian plantation, according to a trading update published by the company on Tuesday morning.
The integrated energy company, which is engaged in an ethanol business in Peru, revealed it had secured governmental approval during December 2012, paving the way for the expansion of its existing plantation growing sugar cane from which ethanol can be derived.
The company stated that it expects to complete its plantation expansion from the existing 6,532 hectares to 7,787 hectares at a total cost of $3.3m which will result in the completion of the first phase of its "Ethanol Project".
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As of December 31st a total of approximately 579,000 gross tonnes of sugar cane had been harvested and processed since the ethanol plant began processing sugar cane at the end of March 2012.
On the same date, Maple had sold a total of approximately 8,571 cubic metres of ethanol to the local Peruvian market since commencing sales to the Peruvian market in May 2012.
Rex Canon, Chief Executive Officer of Maple Energy, commented: "Sugar cane harvesting rates and ethanol production volumes are expected to further increase this quarter once we expand our harvesting fleet. In addition, with the expansion of our existing plantation and the corresponding utilization of available capacity at the Ethanol Plant, we believe the value of our ethanol business will be enhanced."
Maple Energy's share price was unchanged at 66p at 08:00 on Tuesday morning.
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