19 November 2007 15:43 [Source: ICIS news]
BUENOS AIRES (ICIS news)--Brazil could one day assist African countries with production of bio-based ethylene, an executive with a large Brazilian petrochemical producer said on Monday.
Speaking from the sidelines of the Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA) meeting, the executive said that the Brazilian government is speaking to countries such as India and others in Africa with the physical resources to produce sugar cane.
The emphasis is on ethanol as a fuel, but in the long term, petrochemical production from sugar cane could also become viable, he said.
“There could be some transfer of technology,” the source said.
Brazil is currently the only viable producer of bio-based ethylene, according to industry analyst Robert Bauman, who is vice-president of polymers for Nexant.
Bauman believed that production of bio-based ethylene is more than a simply a niche business aimed toward environmentally conscious end consumers.
“With oil prices as high as they are, bio-ethylene can compete on a cost basis,” the producer source said.
The second largest producer of ethanol in the world and the largest exporter, Brazil is well positioned to expand its production and sees development of the global ethanol market as strategic to national interests.
Brazil and the West African Economic and Monetary Union in October signed a biofuels agreement that foresees technological co-operation and transfer of technology.
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