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Petrobras Considering 1-Billion Gallon/Year Ethanol Pipeline

Reuters. Petrobras, the Brazilian state-run oil giant, is considering the construction of a US$226 million (€186 million) ethanol pipeline capable of transporting 4 billion liters of ethanol per year.

The pipeline under consideration would run from the central state of Goias to a refinery in Paulinia, near Sao Paulo, through Brazil’s main producing centers of sugar cane and ethanol.

“We are the only country in the world that has the technology to build an ethanol pipeline,” [Petrobras Chief Executive Sergio] Gabrielli said. ”To make the ethanol market grow is strategic for the world, not only for Brazil.”

In his state of the union address Tuesday, U.S. President George W. Bush said he wants to substitute a large part of gasoline consumption with alternative fuels by 2025. Gabrielli said Brazilian ethanol was an option.

Although most of Brazil’s ethanol production is for domestic production, Petrobras is ramping up its ethanol exports, and has confirmed shipments totaling 250 million liters (65 million gallons) to Venezuela and Nigeria. The company is also in talks with China, South Korea, India and the United States.

However, after a recent trade mission to Brazil, US Senator John Thune (R-SD) concluded that Brazil may not be a threat to the US ethanol industry as he had thought. The much lower cost of production of Brazilian ethanol could make it attractive as an export to the US.

Thune said Brazilian government and trade officials told him that their interest in exporting ethanol to the United States has diminished.

They seem content to have a domestic market and to export to countries other than the United States, he said.



I thought the Senate was the part of Congress that provided adult supervision. Thune's argument is barely kindergarten-level. Cheap ethanol a threat? What is he smoking?

This guy's a republican. Can't he be sold at least on the anti-Chavez side of importing ethanol instead of Orinoco crude?

Harvey D

Nobody wants to admit it but USA is, in many areas, one of the most protectionist country in the world. The application of a multitude of import quotas and tariffs are used to block foreign goods, including Brazilian ethanol with a 100% import duty. National subsidies are used to make US products overly competitive (cheap), to favour exports and kill imports, even from third world countries and partners within the North American free trade zone. Could the USA trade policies have something to do with decreasing USA popularity or wide spread growing rejection?


Latin American countries are discovering that they don't need to be dependent on the USA for economic survival, and are finding out that they are actually better off not following the Washington consensus. This is gonna piss the US regime off, probably start another war.


When you start talking free trade in agricultural products party affiliation does not matter. All that matters is farm state/non. Thune is from a farm state. 'nuff said.


Don’t worry - Congress will change its mind and approve Ethanol imports from either Brazil or anywhere else if we need the fuel bad enough. Like if we have to nuke Iran over its illegal nuclear weapons program. A long-term shutoff of Iranian oil would cause oil prices to zoom to well over >$100 a barrel overnight. What congressperson is going to back to their home state and tell his or her people they don’t have a plan to fix this problem? Congress should at least mandate that all new vehicles sold in our country be fuel flexible. You can’t buy bio-fuels (except bio-diesel) if it doesn’t run in you car.

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