Nikkei. Petrobras and Mitsui & Co. have finalized a plan to export ethanol to Japan beginning in 2010 for use in power plants and as a transportation fuel. Petrobras will lay pipelines in Brazil and secure tankers for transport to Japan. Mitsui will secure sugarcane fields and build a facility to produce the ethanol.
In April 2006, Petrobras—Brazil’s state-controlled oil company—and Mitsui—Japan’s second-largest trading company—signed an agreement to promote and to sell Brazilian sugar-cane ethanol in world markets. (Earlier post.)
Annual shipments to Japan are expected to total 3 billion liters (793 million gallons US). That amount includes include exports for use in automobiles.
Japanese power utilities, including Tokyo Electric Power Co., are reportedly interested in using ethanol to power their stations, as using the substance in combination with fuel oil would require only minimal equipment changes.
Japan currently meets roughly two-thirds of its electricity needs via thermal power stations fired by such fossil fuels as coal, oil and natural gas.
Brazil, the world’s largest ethanol exporter—plans to double its annual ethanol output to 30 billion liters (7.9 billion gallons US) by 2014. Petrobras has already decided to start exporting the substance to Japan for use in autos in 2008. In December 2005, the company formed a 50-50 joint venture company with Nippon Alcohol Hanbai (NAH) of Japan to produce fuel ethanol for the Japanese market. (Earlier post.)