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Sunday, 01 June 2008

First UNIDO African Study Tour: Brazil

Study Tour on Biofuels, 16 May to 1 June 2008

Being South America’s leading economic power and by far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil has pursued industrial and agricultural growth. As a matter of policy, South-South Cooperation is one of the priorities of the present administration.

Brazil’s successful experience with the development of biofuel (ethanol) for its transport sector is a good example of business opportunities that could be taken to the international arena. Possessing large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing and service sectors, Brazil’s economy is expanding its presence in world markets. Many countries in the region use a considerable amount of biomass in their energy matrixes. In recent times, the region, and Brazil in particular, has emerged as a repository of valuable experience in this field.  

The first UNIDO African Study Tour in the LAC region took place from 16 May to 1 June 2008 in Foz do Iguaçu, Piracicaba, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro. Seven African countries (Cameroon, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia) visited the productive sites for bioethanol and biofuels in Brazil and participated in meetings with producers, regulators, and support institutions. Four different perspectives were discussed for financing renewable products covering Regional Development Financing, National Development Agency Programmes and Public Private Partnerships Schemes. The Study Tour provided an insight on the following:

  • Overview of the production chain of biomass from small and medium size farmers, including equipment, technologies, research services, quality control techniques, regulations and carbon credits linkages;
  • Overview of the ethanol production chain from sugar cane including equipment, technologies, research services and quality control techniques;
  • Extensive knowledge of the Brazilian main ethanol productive cluster – the Piracicaba Ethanol Cluster in the State of San Paulo: Companies involved in the entire value chain of ethanol production from equipment manufacture, irrigation companies, process control, software development, laboratory management, logistics, etc.;
  • Acquaintance with the international cooperation opportunities between the ethanol cluster and the participating countries (CENPES);
  • Overview of the biodiesel production chain from seeds: soya beans, sunflower, castor, etc.;
  • Acquaintance with the Brazilian vocational training structure;
  • Acquaintance with the training programmes and cooperation programmes of the Brazilian Industrial Training Institute (SENAI) – from the Industrial Federation;
  • Acquaintance with the new policy of the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), in particular its triangular operations in Africa;
  • Acquaintance of the Research Programmes in the field of recuperation and utilization of arid savannah land and mapping techniques for crops at EMBRAPA;
  • Acquaintance with the research in the field of biofuels (biodiesel, ethanol at EMBRAPA);
  • Acquaintance with the testing and quality standards for biofuels at INMETRO;
  • Acquaintance with the policy and regulatory framework for the production and trade of biofuels in Brazil (Brazilian Petroleum Agency);
  • Acquaintance with Petrobras strategy in the field of biofuels;
  • Acquaintance with research in the field of biofuels at Petrobras;
  • Acquaintance with the international cooperation opportunities between Petrobras and the participating countries (CENPES);
  • Acquaintance with the international cooperation opportunities between Electrobras and the participating countries (CEPEL) in the field of mapping of mini-hydro power stations and mapping of renewable resources.


The African Study Tour to Brazil was conducted within the framework of UNIDO's activities to foster Africa/LAC inter-regional cooperation.
For more information on these activities, please click here.