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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has announced that a tender for the construction of the Premium II oil refinery will be launched during the first half of next year.
Speaking to local radio stations 93FM and Dom Bosco FM on Tuesday, Rousseff said the decision to build the 300,000b/d facility in the northeastern city of Fortaleza was "irreversible."
Premium II will require investments of US$8.5bn and is expected to begin operating in 2018.
News of the tender comes less than a week after Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) signed a deal with local indigenous groups to end an impasse over land used for the project.
In announcing the accord, Petrobras said it had pledged 15mn reais (US$6mn) towards indemnity payments and the creation of an indigenous reserve.
Premium II is one of four new refineries scheduled to begin operating in Brazil by 2018 as Petrobras seeks to reduce its dependence on oil imports.