Brazil's state-controlled energy giant Petrobras will boost its production of ethanol as part of a government effort to contain fuel prices, Energy Minister Edison Lobao announced.
"We are going to make rapid advances to produce (an additional) 10, 12, 15 percent in three to four years," Lobao told reporters. "With this, Petrobras will be transformed into an important factor in the supply and pricing of ethanol."
According to the official, Petrobras currently accounts for five percent of total ethanol production in Brazil, but that by 2017 it expects to be the largest producer.
In the past 12 months, the price of ethanol in Brazil rose 39.2 percent, well above the overall rate of inflation of 6.5 percent.
Ethanol, made mostly by using sugar, is widely used in Brazil as a cheaper alternative to gasoline for motor fuel.
Brazil is the second-biggest producer of ethanol in the world, after the United States, and the biggest exporter of the biofuel.
It sustains a large domestic market using ethanol through the sales of cars whose engines can take either gasoline, ethanol or a mix of the two.