Government wants to define addition of biodiesel to diesel by November

07/05/2004 - 20h49

Brasília, May 10, 2004 (Agência Brasil) - By November the federal government wants to issue a regulatory benchmark that will allow the addition of 2% biodiesel fuel to diesel oil in Brazil. The purpose of this measure is to increase the country's exports, as well as to produce fuels that preserve the environment. According to Presidential spokesman André Singer, the option to add biodiesel to diesel already exists in countries like the United States, France, and Germany.

The government also intends for the regulatory benchmark to promote greater social inclusion. Since Brazilian biodiesel fuel will be produced from castor beans, the idea is to stimulate cultivation of the plant through family farming, especially in poor regions of the country, such as the semi-arid Northeast. "These castor bean plantations would be cultivated on small properties through family farming, which the government will seek to stimulate," Singer pointed out.

The decision to add biodiesel to diesel fuel was discussed by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva with the Interministerial Executive Commission that is studying the matter.

Biodiesel is obtained from vegetable oils, chiefly sunflower and rapeseed. It is considered a source of renewable energy and an alternative to traditional non-renewable fuels, such as gasoline. Biodiesel reduces emissions of pollutents, stimulates rural agriculture, and reduces the country's energy dependence through its influence on Brazil's crude petroleum imports. The fuel is generally used in diesel engines, either mixed with gasoline or pure.

Translator: David Silberstein