One of the most polluted cityies of the world, the Mexico City may find an answer to the growing menace of pollution. Due to a surplus in cane output, sugar producers of Mexico are hoping that the sugar-based ethanol industry will come to the rescue of the residents of Mexico City. Production of ethanol will certainly be welcomed by the Mexicans because it will replace oil which is one of the greatest culprits as far as pollution is concerned. And it is the oil industry from where the most of the opposition to production of ethanol can be expected. Mexico is the largest producer of oil outside the Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the oil lobby will certainly not like to have another competitive fuel industry.
"At the moment we will still have too much opposition from the government. But within five to 10 years you will definitely see growing use of sugar for ethanol," said a sugar industrialist. Mexico also expects a record harvest of sugar in the 1998 season and with raw sugar prices touching a near seven-year-low, the local growers will desperately be seeking alternative markets. And what better market can they get if the production of ethanol is allowed. It is hoped that they will be able to put enough pressure on the authorities to allow the ethanol industry to grow.
Brazil was the first country which began large scale ethanol production two decades ago, and it is expected to produce 4.25 billion gallons of ethanol in 1998, which is about half of the world's total output.
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