Brazilian operations in Antarctic are being funded in part by state-controlled oil giant Petrobras. The multinational is involved in Antarctic research and development sponsoring the renewal of the Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station, and the acquisition of research equipment for the Oceanographic Support Ship Ary Rongel.
In addition, for the last 25 years, Petrobras has supplied the Brazilian Antarctic Program (PROANTAR) annually with 3 millionÂ liters of diesel oil for use in ships; 400,000 liters of arctic gas oil; 20,000 liters of alcohol-free, pure gasoline; 70,000 liters of QAV-5 aviation kerosene, and 1,200,000 liters of QAV-1 aviation kerosene.
Petrobras support is considered vital for Brazil's Operation Antarctica XXV during the 4th International Polar Year, (2007-2009), when scientists from 63 countries will research the polar environment and its interaction with the world.
"Petrobras' participation in the operations developed by Brazil on the Antarctic is in line with the company's mission of operating with social and environmental responsibility, and contributes to the development of the locations where it operates," highlights the Petrobras director of Supply, Paulo Roberto Costa
The Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station is currently undergoing repairs and expansion and when finished should be able to comfortably house 70 people plus ample space for scientific and logistics activities.
Similarly Petrobras is investing in the Oceanographic Support Ship Ary Rongel that has undergone maintenance and will receive state of the art research equipment for different fields of scientific activity.
Ary Rongel is tasked with providing Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station with supplies and logistic support and at the end of the season takes backs to Brazil all the residues generated in the Station.
"It is a Petrobras global commitment to prevent environmental impacts. Petrobras has also supplied all the fuel storage tanks", said Roberto Costa.
Petrobras has also developed its own technology in fuels, which can withstand temperatures of up to minus 40 degrees, given that below this the fuels begin to freeze.
"We produce QAV A-1 aviation kerosene, utilized in the Hercules C-130 aircraft turbines, and JP-5 special aviation kerosene, for the turbines of the helicopters based on the ship Ary Rongel. To guarantee propulsion and electricity generation for the ship, we have also elaborated the Special Shipping Diesel Oil, EPM, and we have developed Arctic Gas Oil for electricity generation in the Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station. In addition, we supply Gasoline A, without alcohol, for the engines of the boats, snow bikes, and quadric-cycles," explains the Supply director
From 2006 to 2007 alone, up to now, 2,400 liters of lubricant oil for the engines, generators, launches, tractors, and stackers have already been used, in addition to the greases acquired from Petrobras BR and other suppliers, both Brazilian and international, with costs defrayed through an agreement with Petrobras.
"Our next goal is to test biodiesel, thus ensuring a greater reduction in greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere," indicated Roberto Costa.