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Central America Eyes Sweet Alternative to Oil

by Pat Coate | April 21, 2006
"We need to reduce our dependence on oil by promoting the production of ethanol and biodiesel."
- Manuel Zelaya, President of Honduras

"In addition to fuel, what we can generate is a number of important jobs growing sugar cane."
- Manuel Zelaya, President of Honduras

San Antonio Suchitepequez, Guatemala - At the Palo Gordo refinery two hours' drive south of Guatemala City, a Brazilian-designed ethanol processing plant hums next to decades-old machinery turning freshly cut cane into sugar.

Sugar-producing countries are looking to ethanol to breathe new life into the decades-old sugar industry. The fuel, also known as ethyl alcohol, is made from a sugar by-product and then mixed with gasoline to reduce pollution and lower prices.

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