Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras says it is ready to produce renewable diesel from soya or other edible oils at commercial scale as soon as it gains regulatory approval, Reuters reported on 1 August.

The company would expand its investment in the sector following approval from Brazil’s oil regulator ANP Petrobras, the company’s refining head Anelise Lara was quoted as saying to reporters.

Petrobras had refined 2M litres of soyabean oil at one of its southern refineries, resulting in 40M litres of renewable diesel, Reuters reported.

"We've confirmed the technical viability of the technology," Lara was quoted as saying.

The initiative was part of Petrobras' climate strategy, which includes a target to reduce the carbon intensity in the refining segment by 16% in the next five years.

Soya was currently the feedstock for more than 70% of the biodiesel produced in Brazil and the introduction of a new type of fuel that could affect soya demand was controversial within the industry, Reuters said.

Renewable diesel contained no contaminants, unlike biodiesel, according to Lara. However, industry group Abiove, which represents biofuel producers, disagreed saying biodiesel did not contain more contaminants.

The two products had different compositions, including percentages of soya oil, Reuters said.