By DIANA KINCH
NOVA LIMA -- Brazilian mining company Vale SA and oil
and gas company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, will
announce joint projects in a month's time, a Vale
director said Wednesday.
The announcement should involve joint businesses rather than
development of technologies, Luiz Mello, Vale's director of technology, said in an interview
during an event on innovation in Brazil's Minas Gerais
Vale and Petrobras, Brazil's biggest companies by market value,
last Friday signed an accord to undertake joint projects in areas including
fertilizer raw materials and oil and gas.
On Tuesday, Vale human resources director Vania Somavilla
said the accord could include collaboration in the rare earths
minerals area in Brazil.
According to press reports Tuesday, Petrobras may give Vale
preference in natural gas supplies in return for the right to
use some of Vale's port facilities in Brazil. Mello didn't
immediately confirm this.
Vale's own oil and gas interests are currently "under
review", Mello said. "Energy should be a support area for Vale
rather than a business in its own right," he said.
Vale is nonetheless investing in wind power and biodiesel in
Brazil in order to supply some of its own energy requirement,
"Vale consumes 4.5% of all the energy generated in Brazil.
We need a hedge in energy," Mello said.
Vale and Petrobras are collaborating on a scheme of
scholarships for training scientists, together with the
Brazilian bankers' federation Febraban and National Industry
Confederation CNI, he added.
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