Brazil-based energy company Petrobras has unveiled a new project to produce biodiesel from palm oil (dende) by building a self-owned biodiesel plant in the state of Para, expected to start up in July 2013.

Earlier this month, the company had unveiled its planned to begin another biodiesel project in partnership with Galp Energia, called the Belem project.

The sustainable palm biodiesel production project in Para foresees the deployment of a biodiesel plant with capacity to produce 120 million liters of biodiesel per year to supply Northern Brazil, the company said.

With investments estimated at BRL330m, of which approximately BRL240m in agriculture and about BRL90m in the industrial plant, the project also includes palm oil extraction industrial complexes, including crushers and a power co-generation unit.

In 2010, 1.1 million palm seeds will be acquired to start producing seedlings in nurseries. Seedling planting in the production areas is planned for December 2011, and harvest is expected to start as of 2014.

The biodiesel plant supply strategy foresees planting palm in eroded areas, working in one of the regions affected by deforestation in the state of Para.

The two projects are expected to create 7,000 direct jobs, of which approximately 5,250 will be in the agricultural sector and 1,750 will be in the industrial and logistics areas, and 2,250 family farmers will be involved in planting palm.