Brazil’s largest energy firms have established a joint venture to construct a dedicated ethanol transport system which will be used to link the main ethanol -producing regions of the country with each other and with port terminals.

Petrobras, Cosan S.A. and Copersucar S.A.—the largest company in Latin America, the world’s fifth largest ethanol producer, and Brazil’s largest sugar, ethanol and bioenergy company, respectively—each hold a 20 percent stake in the venture. Other stakeholders include two transportation and logistics firms as well as a Brazilian construction firm.

The new company, Logum Logisitca S.A., will be responsible for constructing, developing and operating a $3.6 billion multimodal ethanol logistics system which will integrate existing waterways transport systems with dedicated ethanol pipelines. When complete, the system will have the capability to transport a massive 5.5 billion gallons of ethanol annually over approximately 807 miles. The system will pass through 45 municipalities, linking ethanol-producing regions across the central portion of the country with the Paulinia Refinery in Sao Paulo and coastal port terminals in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Most of the logistics system will be constructed along existing pipeline routes to minimize environmental impact, according to Petrobras. Existing waterways will be utilized in combination with the pipeline where possible in order to reduce ethanol transport costs. Petrobras said constructing a new delivery system to haul ethanol to Brazil’s coast port terminals will increase the country’s ability to export its ethanol. Currently, ethanol is transported from production facilities to port terminals by road tankers. Installing the new transport system will not only speed the ethanol export process but will also reduce wear and tear on highways and result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions from truck traffic, Petrobras stated.

Work on the first section of the pipeline began last November. This portion of the project stretches approximately 130 miles from Ribeirao Preto in the north-central portion of Sao Paulo southeast to Paulinia. Carrier convoys consisting of barges and pusher craft will be built to integrate this section of the system with existing waterway transport systems, according to Petrobras.

Petrobras stated that more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created through the construction of the ethanol logistics system.

source: ethanolproducer

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