Brazil’s Petrobras earmarks $3.8bn for petchems, $4.1bn for biofuels

23 July 2011 19:54  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Petrobras plans to invest $3.8bn (€2.7bn) in petrochemicals and $4.1bn in biofuels during 2011-2015, the Brazilian energy major said late on Friday.

Petrobras's new five-year investment plan totals $224.7bn, with the largest amount earmarked for energy exploration and production.

The $3.8bn, five-year investment in petrochemicals compares with $5.1bn in the 2010-2014 plan.

Petrobras said it was “maintaining its strategy of expanding petrochemical and biopolymer production through shareholdings in other companies.

“One of the most important projects in this area is the implementation of the Suape petrochemical complex,” it added.

The Brazilian reais 5bn ($3.2bn) Suape project in the northeastern state of Pernambuco would have a production capacity of more than 940,000 tonnes/year of petrochemical products such as purified terephthalic acid (PTA) as well as polyester and other resins.

The complex expected to begin production in by the end of 2011, according to the project website.

Biofuels investments under the new plan would amount to $4.1bn, compared with $3.5bn in its 2010-2014 plan.

“Of the total direct investments, $1.9bn will be directed to ethanol production and the remaining largely focused on biodiesel,” Petrobras said in a statement.

Petrobras said it plans to produce 5.6m cubic metres of ethanol with its partners in 2015, reaching a market share of 12%. Automobile ethanol demand is expected to reach 46.5m cubic metres by 2015, it said.

The five-year plan also includes $127.5bn in investments for exploration, $70.6bn in refining and transportation, $13.2bn in gas and power, $3.1bn in distribution and $2.4bn in corporate overhead.

Petrobras said 95% of the total investments would go to activities in Brazil and 5% to foreign operations.

($1 = €0.70) ($1 = R1.55)

By: Brian Ford
+1 713 525 2653

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