Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Petrleo Brasileiro (Petrobras), Brazil’s state-owned oil company, to which JBIC will extend its cooperation, including possible financing, in bio fuel projects.

The objective of the MOU is to explore comprehensive cooperation for bio fuel production and sales projects to be undertaken by Petrobras in broad partnership with Japanese firms for future possible exports to Japan in Brazil and other countries.

Specifically, the MOU sets forth regular consultations between JBIC and Petrobras for an exchange of information and opinions on financial cooperation and implementation pertaining to the projects considered by Petrobras and Japanese firms.

In May 2006, the Japanese government launched the New National Energy Strategy, which set out, among other aspects, the securing of supplies of biomass-derived fuel and support for its development and import.

Amid the increasingly tight global supply of bio fuel, it is imperative to secure overseas supply sources of bio fuel proactively in time for prospective domestic demand growth. Endowed with abundant land and having technology for producing biomass-derived fuel, Brazil is expected more than ever to become a major bio fuel exporter.

Furthermore, Petrobras owns infrastructure for transporting fuel in Brazil and has a broad experience of supplying bio fuel in the domestic market. It also has a strong interest in the expansion of bio fuel production and sales, looking on Japan as a major prospective market.

To date, JBIC has supported energy-related projects undertaken by Petrobras, including oil field development, refinery facilities and related infrastructure, in which Japanese firms have become involved. Through such efforts, JBIC seeks to secure a stable supply of energy resources to Japan, and maintain as well as expand overseas business opportunities for Japanese firms.

With the signing of this MOU, JBIC will be able to consider financial support for bio fuel production and sales projects, which will bring new business opportunities for Japanese businesses and Petrobras.

JBIC is also increasing its ties with governments and state-owned oil and gas companies in resource-endowed countries, as they will become important supply sources of energy resources to Japan. The signing of this MOU constitutes part of these efforts and will contribute to securing a stable supply of energy resources to Japan.