Petrobras, the Brazilian state-controlled oil & gas multinational, is going to start manufacturing ethanol this month at the Bambuí Plant, in the city of the same name, located in the state of Minas Gerais.
This will be the first ethanol manufacturing plant owned by Petrobras, which has acquired a 40.4% stake in the unit from sugarcane company Total Agroindústria Canaviera, by means of its subsidiary Petrobras Biofuels.
Investment should total 150 million Brazilian reais (US$ 84.7 million) and is part of Petrobras’ Strategic Plan to produce biodiesel and ethanol by 2013, totaling 5 billion reais (US$ 2.8 billion). With the investment, the plant’s production capacity is going to rise from 100 million liters to 204 million liters per year, by 2012.
The aim of Petrobras is to produce 750 million liters of ethanol by the end of the year, a figure that should increase to 4 billion liters by 2013.
“The volume is going to grow through participation in ongoing enterprises, as well as in new projects that the company intends to develop in coming months,” said the chairman of Petrobras Biofuels, Miguel Rosseto.
The unit in Bambuí will be overhauled, its storage capacity should double, and planted area should increase from the current 8,000 hectares to 30,000 hectares. Furthermore, approximately 1,000 new employees should be hired up until 2012.