Brazil's Copersucar and U.S. company Eco-Energy announced Monday that they are linking their ethanol operations to create the largest biofuel marketer in the world.

The two firms together control 12 percent of the global market for ethanol, with a combined supply capacity of 2.6 billion gallons (10 billion liters) of biofuel per year, the partners said in a press release.

Brazil makes ethanol from sugar, while U.S. producers use corn as raw material.

The two companies agreed on a joint investment in Eco-Energy "to build and expand their integrated biofuel platform," according to the press release.

Copersucar, which calls itself "the largest Brazilian sugar and ethanol trader integrated to production," will have a controlling stake in the venture, company sources said.

The Brazilian firm has annual sales of roughly $7.5 billion, compared with roughly $3 billion for Eco-Energy.

"With this partnership, Copersucar becomes a truly global company in the biofuel market, expanding the scale of its operations to the two main ethanol markets in the world, which are the United States and Brazil, both in production and consumption volume", Luis Roberto Pogetti, the Brazilian firm's chairman, said.

"We look forward to expanding globally with a partner as well respected as Copersucar. We have a similar business model and a comparable view on global biofuel growth," Eco-Energy chief Larry Beckwith said. EFE