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High Tech Plant in Brazil to Be Powered by Rice

The city of Alegrete, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, south of Brazil, is going to get a thermoelectric power plant which will generate energy using rice residues.

The central will be created by the Alegrete Electric Energy Generator (GEEA), related to the company Pilecco, a rice producer.

The project should demand investments worth US$ 11.7 million. The director at the GEEA, Onélio Pilecco, signed together with the government of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the beginning of the week, a protocol of intentions to establish the plant.

The plant will use 37,600 tons of rice residues to generate 36,600 megawatts of electricity per year. Part of the project is also the creation of a unit for producing silica, a compound used as raw material by industries such as that of construction materials and glass. The unit should produce 13,000 tons of silica per year from processing 180 tons of rice husk per day.

Part of the investment, about US$ 8.4 million, will have resources from the Rio Grande do Sul bank CaixaRS. When signing the protocol of intentions with the GEEA director, the state governor, Germano Rigotto, stated that the project will add to other initiatives for alternative energy generation in the state, like the construction of a wind energy park, in the city of Osório, and the construction of alcohol plants.

The silica unit is the most important part of the project due to the high technological value of the product. Good part of the investments will be employed in the construction of four buildings: one housing the thermoelectric plant, another for the pre-hydrolyses equipment, which is the reaction of materials, a third one for the calcination equipment, where the silica will be produced, and another for the water and effluents treatment equipment. The project should start being implemented yet this year.



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