Brazil readies biofuel investment plan

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Brazilian government is drafting a new long-term plan for biofuels in an attempt to woo private investors to the struggling industry, energy minister Fernando Coelho Filho said on Monday.

Coelho Filho said the aim of a meeting planned to be held with investors in Brasília on December 13 is to put the final touches to the government's Renova Bio 2030 plan.

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"The aim is to provide tranquility, stability and predictability to the sector," Coelho Filho told reporters.

Brazil is the world's leading sugarcane ethanol producer and is second behind the US in biodiesel output.

But the country's ethanol volumes have fallen this year as rising sugar prices prompt mills to prioritize the sweetener.

Producers have also faced waning fuel demand and been forced to cut investments amid Brazil's worst recession in decades.

The end of a tax exemption for ethanol sales in December is expected to deal another blow to local mills.

"We want Brazil to no longer have this question mark about whether it will move forward or not, and to take its place as a leader not only in volume but also in the development of biofuel technology," Coelho Filho added.