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Vibra Energia's strategic push into corn ethanol in Northern Brazil
USAgNet - 11/27/2023

Vibra Energia SA, Brazil's foremost fuel distributor, is setting its sights on the burgeoning corn ethanol sector in the country's northern states, aiming to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Chief Executive Officer Ernesto Pousada Jr. highlighted this strategic direction in a recent interview in New York.

Traditionally, Brazilian ethanol has been predominantly sugar cane-based, concentrated in the southeast. However, the northward expansion of corn production is sparking new investments in biofuel facilities utilizing corn. This shift offers a competitive alternative to cane ethanol, which struggles to compete with gasoline in terms of pricing.

Vibra Energia, operating over 8,400 gas stations, has recently pivoted towards renewable energy sources, including biogas, solar power, and electric vehicle charging, alongside ethanol. The company, a former branch of Petrobras SA, entered a joint venture with Copersucar SA last year, positioning itself as a leading ethanol trader in Brazil.

The company's CEO envisions ethanol as a long-term transition fuel, expecting its demand to grow within Brazil. Additionally, Vibra Energia, responsible for fueling six out of ten commercial flights in Brazil, is exploring investments in green jet fuel. In collaboration with Brasil Biofuels, the company plans to sell sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) starting in 2025. This move not only aims to replace fossil fuels but also positions SAF as a potential export commodity for Brazil.

This strategic expansion into corn ethanol and other renewable energy sources reflects Vibra Energia's commitment to the energy transition, seeing it as both a protective measure for business and a significant growth opportunity.

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