Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that the political will of Brazilian and Venezuelan governments was essential to the decision to sign an agreement, Thursday, September 29, between the Brazilian oil company Petrobras and its Venezuelan counterpart PDVSA.
For Lula, this is an important step in direction to a South America integration, because "the giant Petrobras and the giant PDVSA, with lots of patience and lots of time" have an agreement to produce and to refine oil in partnership, besides trying "to build together ships that will make us able to move and to sell" the product.
The Bazilian President added that we are dealing with "a step that certainly, Bolivar and our Tiradentes, wherever they are, certainly will be thinking that it took 200 years, but it is happening now what should have happened a long time ago".
The agreement for the construction of a refinery in Porto de Suape, in Pernambuco, in northeastern Brazil, was signed by the presidents of Petrobras, José Sérgio Gabrielli, and of PDVSA, Rafael Ramirez.
The unit will get investments of US$ 2.5 billion (50% from each country) and will be able to produce about 200,000 barrels of oil a day. The plant’s name, Abreu Lima, pays homage to the general from Pernambuco who fought for the Latin-American countries independence.
Lula also added that he believes that this accord restates the autonomy of the South-American vis-à-vis the developed countries.
"This is something that bothers some people, because people were used to make the decisions while we used to say amen. We don’t want to take anything from anyone. The only thing we want to tell the world is that we love ourselves.
"That we do respect and that we want to be heard as sovereign countries, masters of the solutions of our own problems. And that we want to share these things, this accomplishment of ours, with our siblings," he declared.
The Petrobras’ decision to build the new refinery in partnership with the Venezuelan PDVSA should increase from 1.9 million barrels to 2.1 million barrels a day the Brazilian capacity of refining oil. The forecast is that the unit will start operation in the beginning of 2011.