(Adds executives comment, context on Petrobras bidding round) By Marcelo Teixeira SAO PAULO, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Brazilian energy group Cosan Ltd said on Tuesday its subsidiary Raízen is taking part in the bidding round organized by state-run oil company Petrobras for the sale of several refineries in the country. Cosan's Chief Financial Officer Marcelo Martins told analysts and investors Raízen was still at the analysis stage regarding the possibility of buying a refinery from Petrobras, and said that the return required would be quite high for the risk. Reuters reported last week that Raízen was among a group of investors selected for Petrobras in the bidding round for the first four refineries to be sold. In total, Petrobras, or Petroleo Brasileiro SA, plans to sell eight refineries in Brazil, including its large, recently built Abreu e Lima unit, as the company wants to focus on oil exploration (see table below). The company currently has a near refining monopoly in Brazil, so the plan will open a whole new area for private investment. Martins said the fact that Raízen, a joint venture between Cosan SA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, controls a large fuel distribution business in Brazil is a key factor behind its interest in the refineries. "We would not have looked into this if we didn't have the distribution," he said. Raízen operates Brazil's second largest fuel distribution business, only behind BR Distribuidora, having a chain of gas stations across the country under the Shell banner. Among the aspects under evaluation for a possible refinery move, Martins mentioned the price of the asset, the potential for cost reduction once it takes the unit and the size of the return on the investment, which "should be high enough to maybe compensate the large risk of taking this type of investment". Cosan's Chief Executive Marcos Lutz said the outlook finally appeared more positive for the fuel market in Brazil, after basically three years of contraction. "The fuel market is reacting, we've seen sustainable growth in sales for the last two months, we see organic growth coming next year," he said. Larger fuel sales could boost margins, Lutz said, which have been tight due to the recent contraction. See below details of the refineries put up for sale by Petrobras: REFINERY LOCATION CAPACITY OPERATIONAL (STATE) (BPD) SINCE Abreu e Lima Pernambuco 230,000 2014 Landulpho Alves Bahia 323,000 1950 Gabriel Passos Minas Gerais 150,000 1968 Getúlio Vargas Paraná 207,000 1977 Alberto Rio Grande do 201,000 1968 Pasqualini Sul Isaac Sabbá Amazonas 46,000 1957 Lubnor Ceará 8,000 1966 Unidade Xisto Paraná 5,800* 1972 *tonnes of shale per day (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Tom Brown)
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