The purchase of the equity stake and the conversion of the loan is subject to the initial disbursement of a loan from Banco do Brasil, the lender providing project financing to the project.

The project encompasses approximately 10,000 hectares of land, and includes both agricultural and industrial sectors. All necessary permits, including environmental licenses and free trade zone approval, have been obtained by the project.

The project is expected to start commercial production during 2012, and reach its full production capacity of 112 million liters of Ethanol annually in 2014. As a clean energy business, the project is said to be able to benefit from Colombian environmental legislation that requires 10% Ethanol blending in gasoline distributed in Colombia.

Yosef Maiman, chairman, president and CEO of Ampal, said: “This investment is another step in Ampal’s strategy to continue investing in the energy sector, particularly environmentally friendly projects. It joins Ampal’s energy related investments which include EMG, a natural gas supplier from Egypt to Israel, and Global Wind Energy, a developer of wind farms outside of Israel.

“The project combines the capabilities of Merhav in developing complex international projects and its abilities in Latin America with Ampal’s investment strategy. It is also the largest Israeli project in Colombia and is backed by Israel’s leading technology and deep knowledge of irrigation and agriculture.”