Maple Energy, an integrated energy company with assets in Peru, has entered into two material contracts to further develop its ethanol project's port facilities and agricultural operations.

Maple said that it has executed an ethanol loading, storage and shipping facilities project agreement with Penta Tanks, a port facility development and operating company, and an equipment supply contract with Hidrostal, a provider of turbine pumps and discharge trees.

The port facilities agreement provides for the design, engineering, construction and operation of the storage, handling and port facilities in Paita, Peru for the company’s ethanol project on the northern coast of Peru.

The port facilities and ethanol project are each expected to commence commercial operations during the second quarter of 2011.

The port facilities, located approximately 33km from the ethanol project’s ethanol plant site, will provide the company with the necessary facilities to store and load its produced ethanol onto vessels for transportation to international markets, including the European Union and the US.

The port facilities are expected to be built on land adjacent to the Pacific Ocean and in close proximity to the port of Paita. Maple has entered into a purchase contract to buy the port facilities site, following which Maple will grant to Penta all rights to use the port facilities site.

Maple said that Penta will operate the port facilities for an initial term of 20 years, and added that it may extend the agreement for up to two successive 10-year periods or may purchase the port facilities for a nominal sum.

As part of its consideration for entering into the agreement, Penta is expected to invest approximately $9m in developing the port facilities.

Once commercial operations commence at the port facilities, Maple will pay a fixed monthly fee, plus an operating and maintenance fee that will be determined by the volume of ethanol delivered to the port facilities and volume of ethanol loaded onto ships by Penta.

In addition, Maple will be subject to annual, minimum throughput ethanol volume obligations in respect of ethanol provided to, stored at and loaded from the Port Facilities. This minimum volume requirement will increase following completion of the third year of operation consistent with the expected increase in total production of ethanol during the same period.

The equipment supply contract provides for the supply of vertical turbine pumps and discharge trees which will be installed at the river pumping stations and reservoirs. These equipment will further enhance the ethanol project’s water delivery system which will deliver water to Maple’s main water reservoir and ultimately to the Ethanol Project’s sugar cane estate.

Under the terms of the Equipment Supply Contract, Maple will pay Hidrostal $4.6m for the equipment and supervision of the installation and commissioning of the equipment at the work site.