Brazilian mining company Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) announced on Tuesday a partnership with state-owned National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES) to launch a sustainable energy production project.
The initial investment in the project was estimated at 220 million reais (127 million U.S. dollars).
CVRD said it will build an Energy Technological Development Center (CDTE) in Sao Jose dos Campos, in the state of Sao Paulo, southeastern Brazil. It is expected to start operating in the first half of 2008.
According to CVRD's statement, the facility will carry out "an extensive program for the research and development of processes and systems to generate energy." The company also highlighted the project's importance in its investment plan, which establishes investments of 59 billion dollars in the 2008-2012 period.
BNDES expected the CDTE to take advantage of the technology developed in Brazil to expand the production of environmentally sustainable energy, and to boost the country's economic growth.
The program will include activities related to the synthesis of gas from thermal coal and to biomass, as well as research on the production of gas-empowered and multi-fuel engines, in order to advance technologies to generate "clean" energy.
CVRD said the research team will also include personnel from Brazil's main universities and research centers.
CVRD is the biggest private company in Brazil, accounting for 4.5 percent of all electric energy produced in the country. It expects to have invested 197 million dollars in the energy sector by the end of this year, and another 470 million dollars in 2008.