Brazil Issues Preliminary License for US$1.1B Ethanol Pipeline

The Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) has issued the Preliminary License (PL) for the construction of an Ethanol Pipeline Distribution System.

Map of the ethanol pipeline. Click to enlarge.

The project is being conducted by PMCC Projetos de Transporte de Álcool S.A, a partnership between Petrobras, Mitsui&Co. Ltd. and Camargo Corrêa S/A. The system will transport ethanol from the producing regions in the Mid-West, Minas Gerais and São Paulo to the large consuming centers of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The estimated investment is US$1.1 billion.

The pipeline will be 542 km (337 miles) in length, with capacity to transport up to 12.9 million cubic meters (3.4 billion gallons US) of ethanol per year, and will be built using existing pipeline sections aiming to minimize the environmental impacts. It will connect Uberaba (Minas Gerais-MG) to Vale do Paraíba (São Paulo-SP), crossing through 33 cities, and then it will be connected to others already existing pipelines in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Two Collection Centers will also be implemented, one in Uberaba – MG and another in Ribeirão Preto – SP, aimed at receiving the ethanol from the production plants, mainly through road transportation.

The plans lans foresee the expansion of the network to the Senador Canedo Terminal (GO) and new pipelines connecting Paulínia to the Paraná-Tietê Waterway and to the São Sebastião maritime terminal.

The partners will work to comply with the conditions of the Preliminary License to obtain the Installation License this year, which allows the beginning of the construction. The goal is to start up the operation of the pipeline in the second half of 2011.

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