Brazil: Petrobras to open ethanol sales points in Japan in 2009

30 December 2008

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 30 Dec – Brazilian state oil and gas company Petrobras plans to open fuel service stations in Japan in 2009 with the aim of promoting the distribution of ethanol, Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reported Monday.

Brazil, the world’s second largest producer of ethanol, after the United States, plans to start a long term programme in Japan to expand into Asia.

Each year Brazil exports 380 million litres of cane sugar ethanol, but has announced that its target is to export 12 billion litres in ten years.

João Brandão, director of the Japanese refinery Nansei Sekiyu, which was recently acquired by Petrobras, said that “the aim is to look at the Chinese and Indian markets, as well as Japan.”

“Petrobras also plans to put itself in a strategic position to distribute gasoline including 3 percent of ethanol as stipulated in Japanese legislation.”

Japan imports 500 million litres of ethanol per year, of which 380 million are from Brazil and the remainder from the United States.

Petrobras estimates that ethanol consumption in Japan may reach 12 billion litres per year as soon as measures for energy diversification and reducing gas emissions are put into place. (macauhub)