From the Field
Raízen propellant plant inaugurated in Buenos Aires
BUENOS AIRES, March 31, 2021 – Argentine President Alberto Fernández on Monday inaugurated a new USD 8-million propellant plant in Raízen’s refinery in Dock Sud, Buenos Aires Province.
This plant is the first to be inaugurated within an investment plan of USD 715 million between 2020 and 2023 announced in October 2020 by the company, one of the largest energy business groups in Brazil. This investment plan aims to create 4,000 jobs and develop 3,000 work contracts with local SMEs, generating a number of indirect jobs.
“The start of this business reflects our commitment to continue growing in the country through new investments, and confirms our trust to encourage economic growth and contribute to the Argentine energy matrix,” Raízen Argentina president Teófilo Lacroze said during the inauguration event.
For the development of the propellent plant, Raízen hired more than 10 local SMEs and around 100 employees for six months. The total capacity is 40,000 tonnes, though the initial production of 14,000 tonnes per year will go to the local Argentine market but has a good potential of exporting a sizeable share to Brazil. Propellant is a gas formed with 80% butane and 20% propane that has a cosmetic use.
Including the propellant plant, the company has moved forward with USD 71 million in investments in the construction of four new plants for fuels hydrotreatment, gas oil hydrotreatment plant, hydrogen production and water treatment. They are also moving forward with a last generation new distillation column, and with the incorporation of digital technology for processes and new technology.
Established as a JV between Shell (50%) and Cosan (50%) in 2011, Raízen purchased Shell’s downstream assets in Argentina in 2018. Between January 2020 and February 2021, the company – together with other partners – also inaugurated 40 Shell gas stations in Argentina, creating more than 400 new jobs and investing more than USD 40 million.
Raízen’s executives announced during the inauguration that in spite of the pandemic the refinery’s production and commercialisation had increased 10% since March 2019. Shell has 20% of the downstream market in Argentina and around 780 gas stations, ranking third after YPF and Axion Energy (Pan American Energy).