Groups to appeal ruling to revoke Brazil Comperj environment permit

15 May 2013 23:36  [Source: ICIS news]

CAMPINAS, Brazil (ICIS)--Rio de Janeiro's state environmental agency, along with others, will appeal a decision that revoked the environmental permit for Petrobras's Comperj project, causing the company to stop construction, the group said on Wednesday.

The agency, Inea, was joined by Rio de Janeiro state prosecutors and the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama).

Petrobras declined to comment on the appeal and did not confirm or deny its involvement. 

Petrobras lost the permit following a lawsuit by Brazil's Public Ministry (MPF), a body of independent public prosecutors. The ministry alleged that the initial permit was not issued correctly. 

The MPF alleged that Petrobras should have received the permit from Ibama and not from Inea. 

Regional federal court judge, Eduardo de Assis Ribeiro Filho, ruled that work at Comperj should be halted immediately until a "new environmental license is issued, this time by Ibama".

Petrobras could face a fine of Brazilian reais (R)100,000/day ($49,000/day, €38,000/day) if it does not follow the ruling.

Inea said it disagreed with the ruling and alleged that it would not improve Brazil's licensing process.

The Comperj project is expected to include two refineries and a number of downstream petrochemical units that will produce ethylene, propylene, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and other chemicals.

Its first 165,000 bbl/day refining train at the site is due to start operations by 2015, while a bigger 300,000 bbl/day train is slated to come on stream by 2018.

($1 = €0.77, $1 = R2.03)

By: Leo Siqueira
+1 713 525 2600

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