One of the main references in the Brazilian sugar-energy sector, administrator Antonio de Padua Rodrigues, 71, who participated in crucial moments for the sector, such as the beginning of Proálcool, died this Saturday (10).
Padua, as he is known in the sugarcane sector, has worked at Unica (Sugarcane and Bioenergy Industry Union) since 1990 and was, between 2003 and 2022, technical director of the entity. He died after cancer treatment.
Padua joined the extinct IAA (Institute of Sugar and Alcohol) in 1976 and participated in the first years of the implementation of Proálcool —a program created in 1975 as an alternative to the oil crisis two years earlier— and worked in the National Sugarcane Improvement Program -Sugar.
Before arriving at Unica, he worked for associations such as the Society of Sugar and Alcohol Producers, Orplana (Organization of Brazilian Sugarcane Producers’ Associations), the Plant Workers’ Association and the Sugar and Alcohol Industries Association.
At Unica, the highlight was the action that resulted in the approval by Congress of the law that allowed 22% of anhydrous ethanol to be mixed into gasoline – today the rate is 27%. He was also one of the creators of Consecana (which covers prices in different segments of the sector), a then-unprecedented payment system for sugarcane producers, in 1999.
“As one of the most relevant leaders, Antonio de Padua Rodrigues will be marked in history as one of those responsible for the development of the Brazilian sugar-energy sector,” Unica said in a statement.
Padua’s death was mourned on social media by entities linked to the sector, such as Udop (National Bioenergy Union). The president of the association, Hugo Cagno Filho, classified him as a “great icon”.
“Padua had been fighting cancer for a few years and was able to prolong her existence, with a lot of struggle and desire to live, over the last few months. It will certainly be forever engraved in our lives and in our memories”, said the president of Udop.
Roberto Perosa, Secretary of Commerce and International Relations at the Ministry of Agriculture, said that the dedication to the sector and legacy at Unica “were invaluable”. “I lost a great friend and mentor,” he said.
Ceise-BR (National Center for Industries of the Sugar-Energy and Biofuels Sector) also published a note of regret lamenting the loss of the administrator.
“Today Antônio de Padua, one of the great experts in the sugar-energy sector, passed away. I had the honor of working with him several times when he was general director of the former Ícone (today Agroicone), being the only association in which he was director for many years, a of the institute’s supporters”, said André Nassar, executive president of Abiove (Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries).
In November, Padua was honored by Udop in Araçatuba (SP) with the Agroenergy Trophy, given to authorities with “unparalleled recognition” in the sector.
Previously, in October 2022, he had already received an honor at the 22nd Datagro International Conference, in the capital of São Paulo, for his work in the sugar-energy chain.
Padua’s body will be laid to rest from 9 am to 1 pm this Sunday (11) at the Piracicaba Metropolitan Memorial (160 km from São Paulo).
The burial is scheduled to take place in sequence, at the Parque da Ressurreição Cemetery, also in Piracicaba.