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Petrobras to invest $2.5 billion to increase production of biodiesel, ethanol

Brazilian energy giant Petrobras, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Petrobras Biocombustível, will invest a massive $2.5 billion between 2011 and 2015 to increase production of biodiesel and ethanol. This hefty chunk of change is part of $4.1 billion Petrobras earmarked for its biofuels operations, which includes $1.3 billion for ethanol logistics and $300 million for biofuel research.

Increasing ethanol production will be Petrobras' priority, with $1.9 billion set aside for the sugar cane-based biofuel. Petrobras says that by 2015, its production of ethanol will hit an annual volume of 5.6 billion liters (1.5 billion gallons U.S.). Though that sounds substantial, it's predicted that 1.5 billion gallons will make up just 12 percent of Brazil's total ethanol production in 2015.

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