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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Petrobras assesses coprocessing expansion, standalone renewable diesel production

Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned petroleum company, announced April 17 that it is conducting new project studies to expand the production of coprocessed renewable diesel as part of its biorefining program.

Dubbed “Diesel R,” Petrobras said it is coprocessing vegetable oil with petroleum diesel to produce end fuels with varying concentrations of coprocessed renewable diesel ranging from 5 percent to 10 percent (R5 Diesel and R10 Diesel).

The company said adjustments are being studied for the coprocessing of R Diesel fuel at Petrobras’ Gabriel Passos (REGAP) and Abreu e Lima (RNEST) refineries.

New plants dedicated to the production of R100, or 100 percent renewable diesel made in standalone units and not coprocessed with petroleum diesel, will also be assessed at RNEST and at the Gaslub Pole, which may have the scope expanded to produce second-generation petrochemical products, Petrobras stated.

Petrobras’ 2023-’27 strategic plan already includes investments of USD$4.4 billion in projects focused on the energy transition towards low-carbon initiatives, of which USD$600 million is dedicated to the biorefining program.

This funding, according to Petrobras, is aimed at developing more modern and sustainable fuels at the Presidente Bernardes (RPBC), Presidente Getúlio Vargas (REPAR), Duque de Caxias (REDUC) and Paulínia (REPLAN) refineries.

Petrobras stated that the new studies are in line with the proposals to be considered in the company’s strategic planning, published March 31, “in the sense of emphasizing the adequacy and improvement of the current refining park through gains in efficiency and the conjugation of raw materials from a renewable matrix in the development of resilient industrial processes and sustainable products.”

The company noted that these studies are preliminary and must still be submitted to Petrobras’ governing bodies.

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