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Brazil's Petrobras to build ethanol export pipeline

Brazil's state-owned oil and gas company Petrobras announced on Tuesday that it would begin building ethanol export pipelines following the completion of a feasibility study.

Construction of the pipelines, known as the Ethanol Export Corridor, will begin within a few months and the network will be ready for use in 2010 or 2011, said Marcelino Guedes Gomes, director of ducts and terminals at Petrobras transportation subsidiary Transpetro. The project will build pipelines linking the western central regions that produce sugar, the main ethanol ingredient in Brazil, to the ports of Santos and Paranagua, in the coastal states of Sao Paulo and Parana. The company will also build a pipeline to link Parana to Cuiaba, the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul, to transport gasoline and fuel oil from Parana refineries to sugarcane producers. The second pipeline should begin operations in 2012. The whole system will have a 12-million-cubic-meter capacity. The ethanol pipelines will cost $1.1 billion while the fuel lines will cost $2.4 billion. Guedes said that Transpetro is also studying either buying or building storage areas in the Caribbean and China to distribute ethanol to North America and Asia respectively. Transpetro is also considering building an ethanol distribution center in Italy, although the precondition is that the European Union introduce some changes to its agricultural subsidies and fuel imports regimes. (