International oil companies eye ethanol

BP is conducting biofuel researches and has plants in Brazil and the US

The petroleum giants have been eyeing the ethanol segment for some time now as a target for investments. Fossil fuel substitution by renewable energy sources, though still at a very

early stage, has attracted important business deals.

The most audacious step in this direction was taken in the beginning of February, with the announcement of a joint venture between Shell and the Cosan group British oil conglomerate BP took a timid step in Brazil in 2008, when they bought a share in a cane ethanol mill. They are also investing billions of dollars in the development of second generation ethanol in the United States.

This year, BP will begin the construction of its first industrial plant in the US, with operations expected to begin in 2012. In a second stage, the giant plans to transfer their technology to ethanol mills in Brazil, beginning with the 2013/2014 harvests.

The British oil company

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