Petrobras plans 975-km ethanol pipeline

Peter Howard Wertheim
OGJ Correspondent

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 8 -- Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) has signed an accord with the Goias state government to build a $226 million, 975-km pipeline to transport 4 billion l./year ethanol, according to Petrobras Pres. Sergio Gabrielli.

It will be Brazil's first ethanol pipeline. At present, tanker trucks move the product.

Gabrielli said the pipeline will run from Goias to a refinery in Paulinia, near Sao Paulo.

"We are the only country in the world that has the technology to build an ethanol pipeline," he said.

Brazil is the world's largest producer of ethanol and plans to increase exports, now limited by the need to supply local markets. Current and prospective customers include Venezuela, Nigeria, China, South Korea, India, and the US.

The US charges a tariff on ethanol to offset a tax credit for US producers of fuel ethanol made from grain. Brazil is expected to take this matter up with the World Trade Organization.

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