Mixture of biodiesel in 2009 can increase to 4%

The government studies to increase the percentage of biodiesel added to diesel from current 3% (B3) to 4% (B4) still this year, informed the director of ANP (Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis), Haroldo Lima.

He explained that the Brazilian production is able to support this increase that now depends on a political decision only.

"There is availability of biodiesel in Brazil that allows us to work with the idea of anticipating B4 for this year. The Ministério de Minas e Energia is discussing about that with us, the decision is politic now", said Lima to journalists this Monday during presentation of fuel consumption balance in 2008. According to him, the first auction of biodiesel of the year is fulfilled after carnival, but the second auction, still without any data, is likely to include the new demand of B4, he asserted. The addition of B3 in the Brazilian market represents a consumption of 1.2 billion liters of biodiesel, informed the businessman. With B4, the consumption would increase to 1.6 billion liters. He said that the goal of use for B5 continues to be for 2013. Lima emphasized the need of the biodiesel program of being seen by the government from the social point of view, since the project to use castor beans for its manufacturing was not successful.

"The biodiesel program of the government was not successful because in the beginning it was designed to encourage small producers in the Northeast, what would be through castor bean, but it ended up being made by means of soybean and methanol", he complained.

"The program is of great importance as for soybean, we need to reexamine the project in relation to new vegetable oil crops, like the physic nut (jatropha curcas l.)", he suggested.

According to the supervisor of ANP, Edson Silva, present at the event, the capacity installed in the country already allows the production of 3 billion liters of biodiesel. The use of the fuel, as for him, led the Brazilian trade balance to save 1 billion dollars.

Nevertheless, he said that the need Brazil has of importing diesel increased from 2007 to 2008, from 9.8% to 12.7% of all diesel consumed in the country.

The director of operations of BSBIOS, Erasmo Battistella, believes that Brazil has the potential to produce B5 immediately. For him, the federal government could, instead of using B4, increase the use of B5.