Grupo Potencial to Build Longest Green Fuel Pipelines in Brazil

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Grupo Potencial to Build Longest Green Fuel Pipelines in Brazil

The flag of Brazil in the wind (© Shutterstock/Leonidas Santana)
The flag of Brazil in the wind (© Shutterstock/Leonidas Santana)

Brazilian company Grupo Potencial will invest 200 million reais ($37 million) to construct two pipelines dedicated to transporting biofuels, the company announced Monday, according to a Reuters news report. 

The pipelines, which will be 55 kilometers each, will be the longest in the country upon completion. Construction is expected to begin next year, pending permit approvals.

One pipeline will transport biodiesel, while the other will carry other biofuels like ethanol and connect Grupo Potencial's Lapa biodiesel plant to a network of fuel distributors.

Carlos Hammerschmidt, Grupo Potencial's vice president of commercial and institutional relations, said the project will reduce reliance on tanker trucks and strengthen the country’s clean fuel portfolio. 

The Lapa plant currently produces an average of 65,000 cubic meters of biodiesel monthly, with plans to transport half that volume through the new pipelines.

The investment reflects Grupo Potencial's confidence in rising biofuel demand as consumers seek cleaner energy sources. "It's a matter of human survival," Hammerschmidt said, highlighting the importance of expanding biofuel production to combat environmental issues.

Brazil's abundant supply of soy gives domestic biodiesel producers a significant advantage. Companies like Cargill, ADM, and BP are already established players in the market, with BP looking to expand its biofuels presence further.

Grupo Potencial's project is also expected to benefit the state of Parana, a major agricultural region that houses the company's Lapa plant, Brazil's largest biodiesel facility with a production capacity of 900 million liters.

The investment additionally contributes to the development of Brazil's underdeveloped energy pipeline network, which is currently about 5% the size of the United States' network, according to Hammerschmidt.

Beyond biodiesel, Grupo Potencial plans to expand Lapa's production of corn ethanol and sustainable aviation fuel derived from soy. Hammerschmidt noted that Brazil will begin mandating airlines to use 1% sustainable aviation fuel by 2027.

The company also announced a separate 100 million reais investment to increase Lapa's production of glycerin, a byproduct of biodiesel that is exported to China.

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