Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil multinational is going to build an automotive gasoline manufacturing unit in the northern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte. The factory will receive investment of US$ 66 million.
The new facility will combine forces with other units owned by the company in the city of Guamaré, in the same state, where Petrobras already manufactures diesel oil, kerosene for aviation, natural gas, kitchen gas and biodiesel.
With the new investment, Petrobras will have capacity to process 80,000 barrels of oil per day in the city, which is turning into a petrochemical hub. The president at Petrobras, Sérgio Gabrielli, will make an official announcement of the investment within the next two weeks.
"The news makes us glad because this refinery, which inaugurates our petrochemical hub, adds value to everything the state of Rio Grande do Norte has ever contributed in terms of raw materials and petroleum, thus contributing to the development of the country and of the Northeast region as a whole," said Wilma de Faria, the governor of the state, last week.
According to the president at Petrobras, the company is also willing to implement more of its experimental biodiesel plants in the city. Two of them are already operating, with daily production capacity for 6,000 liters of the fuel, each. Gabrielli also claimed that with the construction of the new unit, control over the Guamaré Hub is going to shift from the Exploration to the Production area of Petrobras.
Gabrielli had already stated, in the month of May, that the state-owned company was looking at building another refinery in the country, so as to capitalize on the discoveries of large volumes of oil that are being made. The idea is to be able to increase exports of derivatives, which have greater added value, instead of crude oil.
Petrobras already has two refineries currently under construction – one in the Petrochemical Hub of the State of Rio de Janeiro (COMPERJ) and the Abreu Lima Refinery, located in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, in partnership with the Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA.
The Brazilian balance of trade posted a surplus of US$ 384 million in the first week of June, as a result of US$ 4.592 billion in exports and US$ 4.208 billion in imports. The figures were supplied by the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.
After the first week of the month, in the accumulated result for the year so far, the trade surplus stands at US$ 9.039 billion, with exports totaling US$ 76.646 billion and imports, US$ 67.607 billion.
During the same period last year, trade surplus stood at US$ 17.081 billion. The reduction of the trade surplus is a consequence of imports growing at a higher rate than exports, driven by the depreciation of the dollar against the real, the Brazilian currency.