Shinymarble


Sugar Ethanol

Brazil Stays a Step Ahead on Sugar Ethanol

By Sam Hopkins | Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Brazil’s national oil company is sitting on an energy bonanza…

But while Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) has gotten tons of press for its deepwater offshore discoveries in the past two years, 80 billion barrels of undersea hydrocarbon potential doesn’t impress the Green Chip Stocks team.

Instead, this spring’s 87% investment increase in Petrobras’s sugar ethanol operations has us rapt.

Petroleo Brasileiro, as the company is officially named, has played a key role in the country’s Pro-Alcohol biofuel promotion program ever since the oil-shocked 70s. With skyrocketing prices and total reliance on foreign supply, the military government decided to develop domestic fuel alternatives.

A generation of dithering in “developed” countries has made Brazil, now a thriving democracy with the world’s 10th largest national economy, the envy of economic pacesetters like the U.S. and Japan.

Brazilian government officials and Petrobras execs now have the ears of Department of Energy officials in deciding what it takes to integrate biofuel throughout the energy economy.

And Petrobras is putting its money where its mouth is with a new business plan, spending 2.4 billion dollars to advance production both at home and abroad.

In fact, out of 3.6 billion liters of its output goal for 2013, 1.9 billion will go to foreign markets. That’s more than half of the target.

To achieve that by 2013, Petrobras will either build, enhance, or buy 7 ethanol and biodiesel plants.

A note from Shinymarble:
Sugar beets are the most fruitful for this purpose, and will support surrounding ecosystems best with Polyculture.