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Transpetro to focus on Japan's ethanol market

Transpetro to focus on Japan's ethanol market

Rio de Janeiro: Sergio Machado (pictured), president of Brazilian state-owner oil carrier Transpetro, says that it will soon start building vessels designed for transporting only ethanol, so as to serve the growing exports of ethanol to Japan and help Brazil become the new "Saudi Arabia".
Machado told those gathered for the signing ceremony of the $866m contract to build five aframaxes and four panamaxes at the Sermetal shipyard in Rio de Janeiro that Brazil was about to become the "Saudi Arabia of the renewable energy field" and would need to start building the vessels that will export ethanol and possibly, in the future, bio-diesel.

He said that design specialists at Transpetro, which is part of the state-owned oil giant Petrobras, were already working on vessels of between 45,000dwt and 75,000dwt to carry ethanol to world-wide markets - especially to Japan where agreements have already been signed to import more ethanol.

The Japanese government has agreed to import ethanol from Brazil as it makes compulsory that all gasoline sold at the pumps has a 3% ethanol content. Transpetro has already made several shipments of ethanol to Japan, and this is set to rise significantly this year.

Machado said: "Ethanol is a sector where Brazil is and will continue to be a world leader. We have oil self-sufficiency and once we are organised we can become the Saudi Arabia of the renewable energy world, as our ethanol is much more competitive than that from corn.
"As the export of ethanol grows Transpetro will become the means to export it, so we have to look into our vessel provision, especially for growing markets like Japan and the Far East. "
He said that a tender to build an "ethanol carrier", which would be a hybrid between a chemical carrier and a products carrier, will be carried out on top of the carrier's over $3bn 44-vessel fleet renewal programme, which is currently being undertaken. Several of those tankers would be used for exporting petroleum to Japan and other Far East and Middle East markets.  [30/04/07]