Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Brazilian railroad company seeks biodiesel breakthrough

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The giant Brazilian company Vale announced in Sao Paulo Wednesday that it will invest $395 million to produce biodiesel from palm oil to fuel its Carajas mine and railway operations.

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Vale, which claims to be the world's largest iron oreproducer, says it plans eventually to use a 20% biodiesel blend in the fuel consumed by its railway locomotives and large equipment servicing the company's main iron ore mine.

In a joint venture with biodiesel producer Biopalma da Amazonia, Vale plans an initial investment of $40 million in 2009. The switch to the new fuel blend will begin 2014. Vale expects savings of $150 million a year from the use of palm oil biodiesel.