Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro wants Portuguese investors involved in private biofuel project

26 June 2007

Lisbon, Portugal, 26 June – Rio de Janeiro plans for Portuguese investors to be involved in a private project to create a “sustainable biofuel hub” in the state, the state’s Agriculture secretary said in Lisbon.

Christino Aureo, who is part of a government and business mission from Rio de Janeiro that is in Lisbon, said that the agro-industrial project for boosting production of ethanol, biodiesel and bio-electricity, which represents an investment of 250 million euros, has its success “guaranteed” by consumption in Rio de Janeiro and surrounding states.

Aureo noted that 80 percent of cars sold in Brazil are currently run on “mixed fuel,” and work on a variable percentage of ethanol mixed in with the fuel and the in Rio de Janeiro it is already a requirement to use biodiesel in public transport.

As well as this, the price of ethanol as risen almost five-fold over the last three years and producers in Rio de Janeiro state also have a price insurance known as “green currency.”

Portugal is a privileged partner in this area as it “has a sophisticated financial system and can gather resources within the European Union that can be channelled into the activity,” of producing ecological fuels, he said.

The Brazilian government mission to Lisbon, along with governor Sérgio Cabral, also includes the state secretaries for Transport, Agriculture and Economic Development, Energy, Industry and Services.

Representatives of around 20 companies are also taking part, including Christiani Nielsen Engenharia, Construtora Weston Hills, Estruturas Tubulares do Brasil and Costa do Sol Operadora Aeroportuária. (macauhub)