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Petrobras CEO calls bio jet fuel key for de-carbonizing

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These translations are done via Google Translate
(Reuters) – The chief executive of Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras, Roberto Castello Branco, said biofuels, especially those for the aviation industry, will be key for “de-carbonizing” transportation in coming years, a goal for energy transition.

Brazil, a major corn and sugarcane producer and a country with a more diversified energy matrix than its neighbors, is also a large consumer of domestic ethanol, with pure gasoline supplies a rarity.

“For the future, we are evolving to bio jet fuel, which will be very important for de-carbonizing transportation, so we are focusing on ships and aircraft,” he said at the CERAWeek energy conference on Tuesday.

Aviation biofuels are biomass-derived fuels from plants or waste used to power aircrafts. They produce lower CO2 emissions than conventional jet fuel.

Petrobras is among the region’s largest exporters of low-sulfur marine fuel. Competitors including Venezuela’s PDVSA and Mexico’s Pemex have not showed much progress in recent years in producing low-sulfur fuels that exports markets demand.

Brazil increased 4.4% its imports of refined products, mainly diesel, to 34.2 million cubic meters in 2019 but also boosted fuel exports 2.6% that year, including fuels for the maritime and aviation industries, to 13.7 million cubic meters, according to figures by the nation’s oil regulator.

Asked about how a giant company such as Petrobras, which has focused on keeping production costs low, can move faster to achieve energy transition, Castello Branco said that “elephants can dance and fly as well.”

“Petrobras was known as an elephant, a state oil company very big and too bureaucratic, very slow-moving. We are looking for fast solutions and diagnosis for solving problems as we are living in a technology-driven world.”

The company aims to capture 25 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) through 2025 while reducing emissions from its fossil fuel operations.

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