EduBourseActualitésLula inaugurates biodiesel plant in Minas Gerais

Lula inaugurates biodiesel plant in Minas Gerais

During the inauguration ceremony held for Petrobras’ third biodiesel plant, in Montes Claros (state of Minas Gerais), the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, once again spoke about the importance of maintaining investments in order for the Country to recover quickly from the possible effects of the global financial crisis, emphasizing the impact the biodiesel use policy will have on generating jobs and income in the field. “The crisis requires investment continuity in order for the economy to recover. The biofuel policy has a very strong social and economic logic, generating jobs and income in the field in a sustainable manner,” said Lula.

Lula also spoke about the plant’s flexibility, which is capable of processing several types of oleaginous plants such as macaúba, a type of palm tree that is very common in the region, and even spent frying oil. “In the past, these companions of ours, now proudly growing macaúba, couldn’t always find buyers for this raw material who would pay an appropriate price.

They are now going to sign agreements and already count on guaranteed cash to provide the oleaginous plant to Petrobras,” he said, making reference to the farmers who attended the event.

The president of Petrobras Biocombustível, Alan Kardec, and the subsidiary’s director for Agricultural Development, Miguel Rossetto, delivered, symbolically, the first Family Farmer Card to farmer Maria Aparecida Soares Silva. This magnetic card is part of a pilot project for the professionalization of the field and will be rolled-out later this month. The purpose of the project is to modernize the relationship and oleaginous plant procurement process and, initially, will involve 250 family farmers from the region. This card contains the famers’ reference file data which can be accessed via teleprocessing technology and will speed up the invoice issuing procedure during oleaginous plant purchases.

The Darcy Ribeiro Biodiesel plant, as the plants installed in Candeias (state of Bahia) and Quixadá (state of Ceará), is capable of producing 57 million liters of biodiesel per 2022. And an enhancement project for it is already being studied, as foreseen in the 2009-2013 Business Plan. The unit kicked operations off last January and the process that increases feedstock flexibility was started in late February.

Together, the three plants generate jobs and income for thousands of family farmers and are capable of producing 170 million liters of biodiesel per 2022.

Petrobras Biocombustível foresees it will make investments in the order of $2.4 billion in the biodiesel and ethanol segment for the 2009-2013 period, 91% of which to be made in Brazil. This amount is part of the total of $2.8 billion Petrobras earmarked for the biofuels business, which also foresees expenditures of $400 million in infra-structure, such as ethanol pipelines. The total resources represent an 87% increase compared to the previous Business Plan.

Darcy Ribeiro biodiesel plant

The Darcy Ribeiro Biodiesel Plant has important differentials in its design, among which fully automated instrumentation and control systems, in addition to crude vegetable oil processing systems.

The volumes of biodiesel to be processed and marketed are monitored in real time, from the time they are loaded on feedstock truck, to production stages and finished product shipment.

Plant construction generated 1900 direct jobs. Of these, 1420 were held by workers from Minas Gerais, 1340 of whom from the Montes Claros region.

Driving family agriculture

The biodiesel plant can run on feedstock of vegetable or animal (bovine fat) origin, in addition to on residual oil and fat used to fry food.

Committed to maintaining the Social Fuel Seal, the company prioritizes purchasing oleaginous plants from family farmers. In the state of Minas Gerais, 30% of the feedstock must be procured from small farmers.

In total, 8200 family farmers have already been hired to supply feedstock, 7000 of which to provide castor seeds and sunflower seeds, while 1000 to supply macaúba and 200 soybeans. The goal is to top out at 20,000 family farmers.

A novelty is the economic use of macaúba, a native regional palm tree, to produce biodiesel. The company started purchasing the macaúba coconut from family farmers in March. The model is still extractive, but the Petrobras Biocombustível it is already working alongside research institutes to develop planting and management programs, to obtain more appropriate varieties, and to improve the product’s industrial processing.

Additionally, a partnership model will be put together with urban collector cooperatives and non-governmental organizations to make using residual oils and fats derived from food frying processes feasible for biodiesel production.

Technical assistance and seed provision

The plant is being deployed together with a program aimed to develop the regional agricultural market. For the 2008/2009 harvest, the company provided 100 tons of seeds to the farmers: 65 tons of castor seeds and 35 tons of sunflower seeds certified by labs authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture.

The company provides technical agricultural assistance services to guide the farmers, and follows-up on the productive activity by means of a support network that is expected to count on a total 200 technicians and partner institution mobilizers by the end of the 2008/2009 harvest. The initiative will cover 56 towns in northern Minas Gerais (Baixo Jequitinhonha and Alto Parnaíba). The project also includes harvest transportation, support for small farmers to get organized in cooperatives, and encouragement for the planting of oleaginous plants in consortium with other food crops such as beans, to guarantee the family farmers can participate in other markets and to avoid monocultures.

The company signs five-2022 agreements, ensuring production will be purchased and a minimum price negotiated in advance with the representative entities. Petrobras Biocombustível is also planning the development of a wide-ranging soil correction program to increase productivity in the region.

Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Fondateur de Rente et Patrimoine (cabinet de gestion de patrimoine), Pierre Perrin-Monlouis est un analyste et trader pour compte propre. Il vous fait profiter de son expérience en trading grâce à ses analyses financières et décrypte pour vous les actualités des marchés. Son approche globale des marchés combine à la fois l'analyse technique et l'analyse fondamentale sur l'ensemble des marchés : crypto, forex, actions et matières premières.