Brazilian mining giant Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) said Friday it planned to build three coal-fired power stations, which are expected to be operational by 2010.
According to CVRD's CEO Roger Agnelli, the first plant, with a capacity to produce 600 megawatts, will be built in the municipality of Barcarena in Para state in the Amazon rainforest region.
The other two power stations, also with production capacities of 600 megawatts, will be built in areas that rely on infrastructure linked to ports.
Agnelli said the technology for the units will be imported from China, where there is a significant number of thermal power plants that use coal as fuel.
He said the company has been talking to the government on the implementation of the projects, which require environmental licensing.
In terms of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, Agnelli argued that coal-fired plants cause less damage to the environment than thermal power plants that use oil as fuel.
"CVRD's demand for energy has grown year after year. We need more energy. We cannot discard expansions of this type of energy generation," he said.
CVRD shares operations in eight hydroelectric power plants in Brazil, but does not run any thermal power plants.