Petrobras decides not to sell a fertilizer plant to a Russian group

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Petrobras announced Thursday that it has waived sale a fertilizer plant located in Três Lagoas, Mato Grosso do Sul, to the Russian group Acron. A new transfer procedure will be opened “as soon as possible”. According to Petrobras, the buyer’s business plan “made some government approvals impossible.”

The sale, which has dragged on since 2020, was announced by the government in February, shortly before President Jair Bolsonaro visited Vladimir Putin in Russia and the start of the war with Ukraine.

The UFN-3 plant was designed in 2008 to reduce Brazil’s dependence on fertilizer imports. Construction began in 2011, when Petrobras planned to use gas from its deepwater pre-salt reserves for different commercial purposes, one being fertilizer production.

Work stopped three years later, although the project was 81% complete. With Petrobras engulfed in a series of corruption scandals, it decided to focus solely on its oil and gas business. Although the current construction is no more than a hull of the original design, maintaining it costs Petrobras money.

Senator and presidential candidate Simone Tebet, former mayor of Três Lagoas, celebrated the decision. She said the plant would not produce Brazilian fertilizers, but simply blend inputs from Russia.

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