Attorney Edmundo Antonio Dias Netto Junior, from the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) in Minas Gerais, issued an opinion on the 31st of March asking Petrobras to suspend the privatization process of one of its subsidiaries, Petrobras Biocombustível (PBio).
The process should be suspended, according to the MPF, “until a detailed study of its socioeconomic impacts on the labor sector and the respective social security consequences is presented.”
The opinion accepts part of the requests made by the Union of Workers in the Oil Distillation and Refining Industry in the State of Minas Gerais (Sindipetro-MG), by the Union of Oil Workers of the State of Bahia (Sindipetro-BA) and by the Union of Workers in the Industry of Petroleum in the States of Ceará and Piauí (Sindipetro-CE/PI) in a public civil action.
Founded in 2008, PBio went on sale in 2020, already under the Jair Bolsonaro government (no party).
Committed energy transition
State-owned PBio is one of the largest biodiesel producers in the country. The activity is considered strategic, in a context of transition to less polluting fuels.
“Dismantling PBio is yet another attack that this government makes on the environment. Oil profits need to be invested in research and technology for a cleaner and more sustainable energy transition”, said Alexandre Finamori, coordinator of Sindipetro-MG, in a news published on the entity’s portal.
“Without Petrobrás driving a transition, oil will leave only holes and environmental damage in Brazil and profits for large international companies. We will fight for a Petrobrás that respects the national interest and fulfills its essential role in the energy transition. Sustainability is not for sale”, completed.
The opinion of the MPF was also commemorated by the Single Federation of Oil Workers (FUP), which has denounced the sale of national assets and attacks on publicly-held workers, who lose their rights and have their stability threatened by the sale of the companies.
The unions emphasize the need for public hearings to present the effects of the privatization of PBio to the population and, if the process moves forward, they ask Petrobras to relocate the employees with public exams to other jobs.
In 2019, PBio accounted for 5.5% of the biodiesel market in Brazil. The plants are located in Montes Claros (MG), Candeias (BA) and Quixadá (CE), with a total capacity of 580 thousand cubic meters of biodiesel per year.
Edition: Leandro Melito