Georgia researches Brazil's ethanol industry

By Kris Bevill | May 09, 2008
Web exclusive posted May 30, 2008 at 4:08 p.m. CST

Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle led a business and diplomatic mission to Brazil in early May to research the country's ethanol industry. The mission trip included researching potential cooperative projects between Brazil and Georgia's budding alternative fuels industry.

The delegation, including a representative from Range Fuels Inc., conducted business calls in Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Over the course of the five-day trip, Cagle met with the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Clifford Sobel and representatives from some of Brazil's biofuels companies, including the country's largest fuel company, Petrobras.

This is the third biofuels-geared delegation trip Georgian officials have made to Brazil in the past two years. In 2007, two missions led by the Georgia Department of Economic Development explored Brazil's production and distribution systems for ethanol, with a particular focus on cellulosic ethanol.

Cagle expects Georgia to play an important role in the United States' own mission to become energy independent. "Hartsfield-Jackson airport, the Georgia ports and the presence of so many corporate headquarters make Georgia an ideal gateway for the world economy to connect to America," he said. "The massive, emerging economies of such nations as Brazil, Russia, India and China represent the world markets of the future. As we seek to bring high-paying jobs to Georgia, engaging the government and business structures of nations like Brazil represents a critical challenge. This is where growth will take place, and Georgia cannot afford to be left behind."