Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, speaking on his fortnightly radio program, Breakfast with the President, said that his administration is working hard on projects for the Northeast.
The President informed that some of the programs for the northeastern region of the country and should start being implemented within the next three months.
According to Lula, one of the priorities is the transbasin diversion project of the São Francisco river. Public notice will be out in July for the work that will eventually cost US$ 1.675 billion (4 billion reais).
The President said the project will provide 12 million thirsty people with potable water in the semi-arid region of the Northeast and some 350,000 hectares of irrigated farmland for family farming on both sides of the water-carrying canals that will be constructed.
Another project is the production of vegetable oils which can be used as a fuel additive to make biodiesel, which is less polluting than regular diesel and will reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil.
Biodiesel will consist of a 2% addition of vegetable oils (Brazil already adds ethano alcohol – from sugarcane – to gasoline). The Ministry of Mines and Energy has estimated the savings from the use of biodiesel at around US$ 160 million annually.
Finally, with regard to transportation in the Northeast, president Lula cited the construction of the Transnortheast railroad that will link all nine of the states in the region with the ports of Pecém, in Ceará, and Suape, in Pernambuco, and the BR-101 highway that should give regional tourism a boost.
ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br