Environmental News Archive

An almost weekly update of environmental news, particularly marine updates, with occasional splatters of transportation, indigenous, ideas of sustainability and sustainable development from around the world.


Biofuels From Brazil Next?

Aug 4 2007 (TODAY)

Besides chicken and aircraft, the country is big on ethanol export, too


BITING into a chicken drumstick might just give you a taste of Brazil,
with up to 80 per cent of frozen chicken imports coming from that country.

But Brazilian Ambassador Paulo Alberto da Silveira Soares (picture) said
the country has much more to offer: "We are not here just to sell chicken.
It's much more than that. That's just to give a taste of things to come."

Birds of a more mechanical kind also have a presence here.

Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer has a regional base here serving the rest
of Asia.

"From chickens to aircraft, Brazil's exports are growing very
considerably. We are no longer only a food commodity supplier to the world
market. Our industrial products are also doing well," he said.

Brazil is the largest producer for sugarcane and a top exporter of soya
beans and beef. Oil-rich Brazil also exports up to US$500 million ($759
million) worth of crude to the Republic annually. But it is working on
ethanol as an alternative fuel, derived from its major agricultural
production of sugarcane.

"There's enormous potential in biofuels. We're the world's biggest
exporter of sugar, raw sugar, refined sugar - but we're also making
ethanol. Cars in Brazil are mostly fuelled by ethanol," he said.

"Everyone's talking about climate change and pollution - it's high time we
provide an alternative fuel. It's cheaper than oil, and sustainable
because you can keep planting sugarcane. We've been planting it for the
past 400 years."

Brazil exports ethanol to Japan and is looking to do the same here.

Trade between Singapore and the South American country were valued at
$3.16 billion in 2006, and $1.58 billion for the first half of this year.

Brazil was Singapore's 22nd largest trading partner for 2006, while the
Republic is the second largest Asian direct investor in the country, after

Sembcorp Marine's Jurong Shipyard and Keppel Offshore and Marine employ up
to 10,000 Brazilian workers and have "revamped the shipyard industry"

Mr Choo Chiau Beng, chairman and chief executive officer of Keppel
Offshore and Marine Limited and who also serves as non-resident ambassador
to Brazil, said: "Brazil is a resource-rich country with good people. To
succeed in doing business in the country, you have to be committed to
understand its national will, operating environment, diverse cultures and

The Brazilian Ambassador said Foreign Minister George Yeo will be in
Brazil later this month to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for closer
economic cooperation between the Republic and Mercusor - the regional
trade bloc consisting of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

"There's great potential because it's not only Brazil that Singapore will
have access to. We can serve as the gateway to Latin America," he said.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is expected to visit
Singapore early next year - the first Brazilian president to do so in the
history of the Republic.

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