Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras has sold its 45.97% stake in sugar and ethanol producer Guarani SA for US$202M to French sugar group Tereos Internacional, Petrobas announced on 28 December.

Guarani owns seven sugar mills with a combined production capacity of 1.7M tonnes of sugar and 900M litres/year of ethanol.

Also announced was the sale of petrochemical subsidiaries – Petroquimica Suape and Citepe – to Mexican company Alpek for US$385M.

The move follows on from Petrobras’ announcement on 15 December that it had agreed to sell its 49% stake in sugar and ethanol joint venture Nova Fronteira Bioenergia SA to its partner São Martinho SA. Petrobras would receive 24M new São Martinho shares as payment for the stake, worth some US$133M, Reuters reported.

São Martinho is primarily a sugar and ethanol producer and is a subsidiary of Ljn Participacoes SA.

In September last year, Petrobras said that it was exiting the biofuels sector to reduce its debts.

It said its divestments programme had chalked up a total of US$13.6bn in 2015-2016, below the US$15.1bn target set for the two year period.

“This failure to meet the target is explained by the company’s obligation to comply with the preliminary injunction of the Sergipe Court that blocked the completion of the negotiations for sale of the Tartaruga Verde and Baúna fields, which were already at an advanced stage.”

Petrobras said the target for divestments in 2017-2018 would be increased to US$21bn from US$19.5bn as a result.