Petrobras to invest $ 2.4 bn in biofuels

Rio De Janeiro: Petrobras Biocombustivel, Brazilian state-owned energy giant Petrobras’ biodiesel subsidiary, plans to invest 2.4 billion U.S. dollars in biodiesel and ethanol production for the 2009-2013 period.

80 percent of the 2.4 billion dollars will be invested in ethanol, while the other 20 percent will be earmarked to biodiesel. A total of 91 percent will be made in Brazil. The figures represent an 87 percent increase compared with the amount in the company’s 2008-2012 Business Plan, and are part of Petrobras’ 2.8 billion dollars investment in the biofuel sector. The remaining 400 million dollars will go towards infrastructure such as ethanol pipelines. An extra 530 million dollars will be invested in biofuel research, which may include the purchase of shares or even the total capital of research companies. “It is possible to acquire technology companies both in Brazil and abroad,” said Alan Kardec, the company’s president, “We may buy them to assure the technological acceleration of our projects.” In the Business Plan, Petrobras said it intends to reach a domestic production of 640 million liters of biodiesel by 2013. To achieve the goal, the company plans to build a new plant in northeastern Brazil, and is considering acquiring two others. The company is also expected to duplicate its Candeias plant in the state of Bahia, and adapt the experimental plants in Guamare, in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, for commercial production.

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