Brazil's oil and gas major Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) has recently reported on its divestments in the biofuels segment. The company guideline to exit this segment, announced in 2016, accelerated in 2019 and the company notes that four important transactions were carried out this year.
According to Petrobras, its exit from the biofuels segment is in line with its portfolio repositioning strategy to become a company “more focused on oil and gas upstream in deep and ultra-deep waters, maintaining part of its refining capacity and excellence in the global commercialization of oil, gas and oil products.” Key events during 2019 include:
- Sale of its stake in Belem Bioenergia Brazil (BBB). In November 2019, Petrobras Biocombustível S.A. (PBio), a wholly-owned Petrobras subsidiary, completed the sale of 50 percent of its stake in BBB to Galp Bioenergy B.V.;
- Start-up of the opportunity disclosure stage (teaser) relating to the joint sale of all BSBios Indústria e Comércio de Biodiesel Sul Brasil S/A (BSBios) shares held by PBio and its partner RP Biocombustíveis S.A.;
- Sale of shares issued by Bioóleo Industrial e Comercial S.A. (Bioóleo) held by PBio (6.07 percent) to 2H Participações Societarias EIREI (2H), which holds the remaining interest in the company. The conclusion of the transaction is still subject to final approvals between the partners;
- Dissolution of Participações em Complexos Bioenergéticos S.A. (PCBios). On October 23, 2019, the Petrobras’ Board of Directors approved the dissolution of PCBios, in which Petrobras holds a 50 percent stake in a partnership with Mitsui & Co. Ltd., which owns the remaining 50 percent of the company. Formed in 2008, PCBios was to make investments into sugarcane ethanol production in the City of Itarumã, State of Goiás, in partnership with Itarumã Participações S.A. The conclusion of the transaction is still subject to final approvals between the partners.
With such divestments, Petrobras reinforces its focus on its strategy of keeping its portfolio with world-class assets where it is the natural owner while allowing new players to access this industrial segment that is also growing in Brazil.
However, Petrobras reaffirms its commitment to continue the “development of technology routes” for the production of sustainable diesel and biojet fuel, in line with its decarbonization target of the oil and gas industry through the refining infrastructure.