December 3, 2019 / 4:18 PM / 10 days ago

UPDATE 1-Cosan's subsidiary Raízen taking part in Brazil's refinery bidding round

 (Adds executives comment, context on Petrobras bidding round)
    By Marcelo Teixeira
    SAO PAULO, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Brazilian energy group Cosan
Ltd said on Tuesday its subsidiary Raízen is taking part
in the bidding round organized by state-run oil company
Petrobras for the sale of several refineries in the
country. 
    Cosan's Chief Financial Officer Marcelo Martins told
analysts and investors Raízen was still at the analysis stage 
regarding the possibility of buying a refinery from Petrobras,
and said that the return required would be quite high for the
risk. 
    Reuters reported last week that Raízen was among a group of
investors selected for Petrobras in the bidding round for the
first four refineries to be sold. 
    In total, Petrobras, or Petroleo Brasileiro SA,
plans to sell eight refineries in Brazil, including its large,
recently built Abreu e Lima unit, as the company wants to focus
on oil exploration (see table below). The company currently has
a near refining monopoly in Brazil, so the plan will open a
whole new area for private investment.
    Martins said the fact that Raízen, a joint venture between
Cosan SA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, controls a large
fuel distribution business in Brazil is a key factor behind its
interest in the refineries. 
    "We would not have looked into this if we didn't have the
distribution," he said.
    Raízen operates Brazil's second largest fuel distribution
business, only behind BR Distribuidora, having a
chain of gas stations across the country under the Shell banner.
    Among the aspects under evaluation for a possible refinery
move, Martins mentioned the price of the asset, the potential
for cost reduction once it takes the unit and the size of the
return on the investment, which "should be high enough to maybe
compensate the large risk of taking this type of investment".
    Cosan's Chief Executive Marcos Lutz said the outlook finally
appeared more positive for the fuel market in Brazil, after
basically three years of contraction.
    "The fuel market is reacting, we've seen sustainable growth
in sales for the last two months, we see organic growth coming
next year," he said.
    Larger fuel sales could boost margins, Lutz said, which have
been tight due to the recent contraction.
    
    See below details of the refineries put up for sale by
Petrobras:      
    REFINERY         LOCATION      CAPACITY   OPERATIONAL
                      (STATE)        (BPD)       SINCE
  Abreu e Lima      Pernambuco      230,000      2014
 Landulpho Alves       Bahia        323,000      1950
 Gabriel Passos    Minas Gerais     150,000      1968
 Getúlio Vargas       Paraná        207,000      1977
     Alberto       Rio Grande do    201,000      1968
   Pasqualini           Sul                   
   Isaac Sabbá       Amazonas       46,000       1957
     Lubnor            Ceará         8,000       1966
  Unidade Xisto       Paraná        5,800*       1972
 *tonnes of shale per day
    

 (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Tom Brown)
  
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