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27/09/2010 - 17:11hs
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Wealthy countries to use Brazilian ethanol, says Lula

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva believes that regions such as Europe, Japan and the US will use ethanol from sugarcane. The North Americans tax the product to protect their maize production.



Brasília – This Monday (27th), while inaugurating sugarcane biomass-fuelled thermoelectric plants in Barra Bonita, in the interior of the state of São Paulo, president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva stated that wealthy countries will end up seeking Brazilian ethanol as a less pollutant alternative fuel.

"Brazil has come to be respected worldwide due to the sugarcane issue, because the rich world, be it Europe, Japan or the United States, they must stop using fuels that generate pollutant gases. Thus, they will have to use something else, and that would be our ethanol," he said.

Lula underscored that the United States is resistant to Brazilian ethanol, as the country charges a tariff for the product to enter its territory. He claimed that the North American country will have to lift the tariff sooner or later.

"In the United States, they do with maize the same thing we do with cane [ethanol production], but by using maize, they lead the cost of animal feed to increase. North American ethanol costs three times more than ours. This is why we have become important, so now they have a tariff to prevent our ethanol from getting there. I believe, however, that reality will force them, and that there will come a time when they will have to open up in order to import our ethanol," he said.

Speaking to an audience comprised of sugarcane cutters, Lula discussed mechanization in the field, which replaces their work. According to him, this is an irreversible process, and the government and businessmen must seek alternatives to prevent development from resulting in poverty for the workers.

Lula also estimated that the likely increase in foreign sales of ethanol should contribute to the creation of new job positions for former cane cutters at the plants' service areas.

The president attended a simultaneous inauguration ceremony for eight sugarcane biomass-fuelled thermoelectric plants in the state of São Paulo. The event was held at the Barra Bioenergia S/A thermoelectric plant, in the municipality of Barra Bonita. The plants are part of the federal government's Growth Acceleration Program (PAC, in the Portuguese acronym).

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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