Nikkei. Japanese trading company Itochu Corp. and Brazilian state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) will partner to produce sugar-cane-based bioethanol for export to Japan beginning sometime around 2010.
As part of the plans, Itochu and Petrobras will grow sugar cane as well as build five to seven refineries in the northeastern state of Pernambuco. Plans are to produce 270,000 kiloliters (71.3 million gallons US) of bioethanol a year.
The facilities will be developed into a major production and shipping base for ethanol bound for Japan, with export revenue expected to hit 2.1 billion reals (US$1 billion).
Sales of gasoline blended with ethanol in Japan began in April.