03 February 2012 18:55 [Source: ICIS news]
BOGOTA (ICIS) –Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) signed a letter of intent to study the feasibility of building fertilizer and liquefied-natural-gas (LNG) regasification plants in Rio Grande do Sul state, the company said on Friday.
The studies will be conducted over the next six months, Petrobras said. The letter of intent was signed by Petrobras, Samsung's machinery and ships division and Hyundai's bulk-carrier division.
Petrobras has been expanding its use of floating LNG regasification plants in order to capitalize on growing natural-gas production in Brazil.
The state-owned oil company is also building natural gas-based fertilizer plants to meet growing demand from Brazil's massive agricultural sector.
Brazil's agribusiness sector has been a major contributor to the country's trade surplus over the years
Brazil’s trade deficit in the chemical sector reached $26.5bn (€20.1bn) in 2011, up 28% year on year, the country’s chemical industry association said in early January.
The deficit increase was attributed to increased domestic demand for chemicals, which was increasingly met by imports, Fernando Figueiredo, the CEO of the Brazilian Association of Industrial Chemistry (Abiquim), said.
Imports of intermediary chemicals for fertilizers reached $8.7bn, or 78.5% higher than in 2010.
“It is essential that investments are made concerning the replacement of imports and increase exports,” Figueiredo said.
($1 = €0.76)
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