Petrobras buys 40.4% stake in Brazil ethanol mill

30 December 2009 16:32  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Brazilian oil giant Petrobras did not immediately comment on Wednesday on a pair of moves designed to increase the company’s presence in the local ethanol market.

Petrobras Biofuels - a subsidiary of the larger company - recently bought a 40.4% stake in Total Agroindustria Canavieira for $84m (€58.8m), according to reports.

Total Agroindustria Canavieira runs an ethanol mill in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais with a capacity of 100m litres/year, and the partnership should allow the operation to more than double that to 203m litres/year. The mill produces ethanol from sugarcane.

Petrobras also signed a memorandum of understanding with PetroChina for a six-month study on developing ethanol production for the Chinese market.

China recently dropped import taxes to 5% from 30%, and has made it clear they are interested in investing in Brazilian production, Petrobras said.

Petrobras, originally a biodiesel producer, has announced plans to invest $2.4bn in biofuels through 2013.

($1 = €0.70)

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By: Ben DuBose
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