Brazil's state-controlled oil company - Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobas) has started construction of a US$$8.4 bln refinery to process heavy oil from the company's offshore fields into petrochemicals. As per plans, Petrobas will be able to process 150,000 bpd into ethane, benzene, butene and other raw materials at Itaborai, Brazil-based Complexo Petroquimico do Rio de Janeiro in 2012. Most of the oil will come from Brazil's Marlim field. The complex will have annual capacity to produce 3.64 billion metric tons of basic petrochemicals, and 3 million tons of downstream products- styrene, ethylene glycol, polyethylene and polypropylene.
Petrobras plans to spend $112 billion over 5 years to increase output in Brazil and abroad.