Brazil: Vale do Rio Doce creates renewable energy technology center

6 November 2007

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 6 Nov – Brazilian mining giant Companhia do Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) said Monday it would set up a Center for Development of Energy Technology (CDTE) to carry out research and develop technological knowledge in the area of renewable energy sources, using biomass.

The CDTE research program, in which CVRD will invest 220 million reais over the next three years, is expected to develop Brazil’s environmentally sustainable technology, particularly in the areas of biomass, including using sugar cane as fuel.

CVRD plans to manage the center, including contracting researchers and signing technological cooperation agreements with the Aeronautical Technology Institute (ITA), which develops industrial technology and with the São Carlos Engineering School.

As one of the research lines will be gasification of coal CVRD is searching for a cleaner way of using the product in the future. For CVRD coal is a long term energy source, despite criticism from environmentalists.

The company considers coal to be a strategic business, with high demand from Asian countries, including China.

CVRD’s plan is to be one of the five largest producers of coal in the world by 2010 with annual production of 30 million tons. (macauhub)