All posts by Adelle Parchment

Virgin Atlantic and GOL have announced a new codeshare agreement

Virgin Atlantic and GOL have announced a new codeshare agreement which will allow customers to seamlessly connect from Virgin Atlantic’s new London Heathrow – Sao Paulo service onto flights across Brazil.

GOL is the largest domestic carrier in Brazil and will offer connections to 37 destinations across the country, including Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Recife.

Flights from London Heathrow to Sao Paulo and beyond will go on sale on Tuesday 10th September 2019. Virgin Atlantic will fly daily from London Heathrow to Sao Paulo with the inaugural flight on 29 March 2020.

Virgin Atlantic will fly a Boeing 787-9 to the South American business capital and customers will be able to enjoy Virgin Atlantic’s signature Upper Class, Premium and Economy Delight, Classic and Light. The South American service will also be an important route for Virgin Atlantic’s Cargo customers.

Virgin Atlantic’s codeshare will open up a vast array of destinations across the fifth largest country in the world. Leisure favourites include surfer hotspot Florianopolis, the Amazon jungle via Manaus and the pristine coastline of Recife.

For business travellers, popular connections will include; the Brazilian capital Brasilia, world famous Rio de Janeiro and industrial hub Curitiba. Customers travelling on Virgin Atlantic and GOL can expect an excellent connecting experience. With matching baggage allowances across the two airlines as well as baggage being checked through to their destination, it will make flying to Brazil a breeze. Both airlines offer Wi-Fi and inflight entertainment across their fleet.

Eduardo Bernardes Neto, SVP Sales & Distribution at GOL commented, “We’re delighted to partner with Virgin Atlantic ahead of its arrival into Brazil next year. GOL offers a leading route network and high quality service and we’re thrilled to be able to connect even more customers thanks to our new partnership with Virgin Atlantic.”

Brazil corn exports hit a monthly record of 6.3 million metric tonnes in July

Corn exports from Brazil reached 6.316 million metric tonnes in July, a record figure since the country started exporting corn, according to the data published by Brazil’s trade department.

Higher corn prices and an early soybean harvest allowed farmers to plant a second corn crop several weeks earlier than normal.

Brazil corn production is expected to touch 98.5 million metric tonnes in 2018-2019, according to the national agricultural agency Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento, or, Conab.

On the back of the bumper harvest, Brazil is stepping up exports as their prices are more competitive than the US corn,  Brazil is the second-largest corn exporter in the world following the US.

Chinese firm to build Steel Mill in Brazil under “Belt & Road” Initiative

A Chinese investment company intends to build an 8 million tonnes per year steel mill in Brazil for flat rolled steel under China’s “Belt & Road” initiative (BRI), its backers aim to commission the plant in 2025.
The Beijing-based asset management company Easteel International Trading Group Co plans to invest a total of $20 billion over 2018-2025 to build the blast furnace-based steel mill, one of several huge industrial projects to be located in Camaçari, a city in North-east Brazil’s Bahia state. Easteel and the Bahia state government signed an agreement on May 13.
Though planning for the project is yet to be completed, preliminary plans call for construction to start in May 2022. Besides the steel plant, the Chinese company also plans to build a 1300MW natural gas-fired power plant, a 5 million t/y cement plant and a smart city that could accommodate up to 150,000 people.
The cement plant will utilize the steel works’ blast furnace slag, reducing pollutant emissions and contributing to the local building material industry. Moreover, the smart city will be built to provide a pleasant environment for employees working in the industrial park.

Brazil Plans to Boost Tourism by Dropping Visas for Americans

Brazil plans to eliminate visitor visas for Americans, as President Jair Bolsonaro seeks to turn around the lagging tourism sector.
Brazil is Latin America’s largest economy but has long punched below its weight in tourism. The country currently receives 6.6 million foreign tourists a year, roughly half that of New York City alone.
Brazil is also seeking to eliminate visas for Canadians, Japanese and Australians.
Other plans to overhaul tourism policy include doubling the country’s spend on foreign tourism advertisements to more than US$34 million by 2023, an existing target of doubling international visits to 12 million annually by 2022 remains in place.

Credit Line open for Individuals Solar Projects

The Brazilian Northeast Bank, Banco do Nordeste (BNB), announced that individuals can now access its FNE Sol credit line for residential solar energy projects.
FNE Sol finances all components for centralised, micro and minigeration systems using solar photovoltaic (PV), wind, biomass or small hydropower sources.
This means that residential clients, including condominiums, will be able to finance up to 100% of their investment with BNB, if the value does not exceed BRL 100,000 with a loan repayment term of up to eight years and a grace period of six months.

Paraíba, the largest wind power complex in Latin America

Iberdrola will build the largest renewable energy project in Latin America in the northeast of Brazil:
The complex of Paraíba, will be the largest land-based wind farm in Latin America once it enters into operation in 2022/2023. This large renewable facility will be located next to the town of Santa Luzia, in one of the windiest areas of the Americas, and will consist of a total of 18 wind farms, of which three are already in operation -Canoas, Lagoa I and Lagoa II- and 15 others are in different stages of development, Iberdroal announced in a press release.
Paraíba will reach a total installed power of 565.5 MW thanks to a total of 181 wind turbines with the following characteristics:
– 136 SG132 wind turbines, with 3.4 MW unit power, one of the most modern and efficient wind turbines on the market, with 65-meter long blades.
– 45 wind turbines of model G114, of 2.1 MW of unit power.
This project will favour the creation of local employment thanks to a forecast of hiring more than 1,200 workers during the construction works.

Trump trade war delivers farm boom in Brazil

The Bella Vita luxury condominium tower rises 20 stories over the boomtown of Luís Eduardo Magalhães in northeastern Brazil. Its private movie theatre and helipad are symbols of how far this dusty farming community has come since it was founded just 18 years ago.
Nearby farm equipment sellers, car dealerships and construction supply stores are bustling too.
The reason: China, a growing trade war between the United States and China is re-ordering the global grains business. In response to Trump administration tariffs on Chinese goods, Beijing this year imposed levies on U.S. agricultural products. Among them was a 25 percent tariff on soybeans, the single most valuable U.S. farm export. U.S. growers sold $12 billion worth to China last year alone.
China, the world’s largest importer of soybeans, has scaled back purchases of U.S. grain to feed its massive hog herd.
It is turning instead to Brazil, which has ridden the wave of Chinese demand for two decades to become a global agricultural powerhouse. Brazilian soybean exports to the Asian country jumped 22 percent by value between January and September, compared to the same period a year ago.
Brazilian producers are not only selling more grain, their soy is fetching $2.83 more per bushel than beans from the United States, up from a premium of just $0.60 a year ago, thanks to stepped up Chinese purchases.
Brazil’s farmers produce much more grain than is needed at home. Foreign customers are responsible for the country’s agricultural boom. Nearly 80 percent of Brazil’s soy exports now head to China.
The city of Luís Eduardo Magalhães is a testament to the importance of this international trade. Located in the state of Bahia, with farms stretching in every direction, the formerly unincorporated rural area in less than two decades has swelled to 85,000 people.
Major employers here include fertilizer factories, seed producers and processors of soy and cotton. The area “relies 100 percent on agriculture,” said Carminha Maria Missio, a farmer and president of the local growers union.
The local real estate market is surging too. Another new luxury condo tower is slated to open next year. Single-family homes are sprouting throughout the city. Prices for prime farmland are up 37 percent since 2012, according to consultancy Informa Economics IEG FNP.
Brazil’s total soy area is expected to expand to a record 36.28 million hectares this season due to robust Chinese demand, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

More plans for big solar parks unveiled

Brazilian conglomerate Grupo Rio Alto is planning to deploy another 210 MW of solar plants in the state of Paraiba. It has announced in a press release it intends to expand the capacity of its Coremas solar complex from 93 MW to 300 MW.

The complex, located in the desert of Paraiba, Southern Brazil, currently consists of  three units: the Coremas I, II, and III, of around 30 MW each, which were selected in the first three renewable energy auctions held by the Brazilian government between 2014 and 2015,

The company stated that the planned new seven facilities are approved by local authorities and ready to build, and that these projects are intended to compete in Brazil’s future auctions for solar and renewables.

The project is being financed by local banks Banco do Nordeste and Banco BTG Pactual, while also being financially backed by the European Union, and Nordic Power Partners, a joint venture between the IFU (Danish Sovereign Fund) and EE (European Energy).

Protected areas could help boost Brazil’s national economy, study finds

Brazil’s protected areas such as the Amazon and Caatinga are known globally for the incredible biodiversity treasures they hold. In 2016, there were approximately 17 million visitors in Brazilian protected areas and according to a new study published this week, greater investment in the environmental management of these areas could help yield even more economic gains for the country.

The book Quanto Vale o Verde: A Importância Econômica das Unidades de Conservação Brasileiras (broadly translated as “How much is green worth: the economic importance of Brazil’s protected areas”), published by Conservation International (CI-Brazil) in partnership with the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ) and partially funded by WWF, shows how protected areas could help generate revenue and employment opportunities for people and Brazil’s national economy.

The study outlines the potential contribution of protecting green areas to the national economy. This includes forest products, public use of protected areas, carbon stocks, water production, soil protection, and tax revenues at the municipal level.

According to the leader of the WWF Forests Initiative, Marco Lentini, the study is a landmark step toward recognizing the importance of protected areas for the well-being of Brazilian and global society. “Not only from an environmental point of view—the role of these areas in retaining greenhouse gases, regulating the climate and conserving water resources is extraordinary—but also from an economic point of view, since products like wood, chestnut and tourism can become an important source of sustainable income for the populations of the Amazon.