Brazilian government controlled oil multinational Petrobras president José Sérgio Gabrielli announced that his company plans to have its first alcohol pipeline operating by the end of 2009.
The most advanced project is the one connecting the cities of Senador Canedo. in the midwestern Brazilian state of Goiás, to Paulínia, in the southeastern São Paulo state, with a length of 1,150 kilometers (715 miles) and estimated cost of US$ 1 billion.
The objective is to transfer ethanol production from the midwestern region of the country through the city of Uberaba, in the southeastern Minas Gerais, and Ribeirão Preto and Guararema, in São Paulo state.
From the latter, the pipeline should follow on to São Sebastião, on the North shore of São Paulo, and from there to Ilha d'ígua terminal in Rio de Janeiro.
"We are currently working on several phases of this pipeline and believe that the first phases should be operating by the end of 2009," forecasted Gabrielli, during a ceremony for the release of the Program for Modernization and Expansion of the Fleet of Support Vessels and of the second phase of the Program for Modernization of the Tanker Fleet.
"Petrobras has a very clear strategy of becoming a great international player in the trade and logistics of ethanol. With this, we are establishing an export program, mainly to Japan, establishing logistics chains to take the product from the new areas to ports, through two large alcohol pipelines," said Gabrielli.
The project, whose execution will be the responsibility of Petrobras, also includes a stretch connecting the Tietê-Paraná Waterway to Paulínia Terminal.
The initiative is based on an agreement signed in February this year between the Brazilian state-owned company, the Japanese Mitsui and Brazilian construction company Camargo Corrêa, which resulted in the establishment of company PMCC Alcohol Transport Projects S.A., which will be responsible for the conceptual and basic phases of the pipeline.
According to the Business Plan, Petrobras plans to invest approximately US$ 700 million in projects and infrastructure for export of 4,7 billion liters of ethanol by 2012
The company is also going to prioritize investment in research and development in the second technological generation of ethanol, based on studies by the Petrobras Research Center on lignocellulose (production of alcohol from cellulose).
Brazil is in the second position among the main global producers of ethanol. The country produces 22 billion liters of the product each year.