Germany funding São Paulo natural gas pilot project

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The German government is funding a project in Brazil's São Paulo state that aims to use biogas generated during the wastewater treatment process to power vehicles.

State water utility Sabesp (Bovespa: SBSP3, NYSE: SBS) will install a biogas reactor at its wastewater treatment plant in the city of Franca, costing 6mn reais (US$3.44mn), local press reported.

Of the project's total cost, 5.1mn reais will come from Germany's environment ministry by way of its international climate protection initiative. The project has been approved by Germany's Fraunhofer Institute.

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The biodigester at the Franca plant will capture 2,700m3/d of biogas and turn it into 1,800m3 of biomethane, said Fraunhofer engineering researcher Werner Sternad.

The natural gas will power Sabesp's fleet of vehicles in the Franca area, according to the reports. The city was chosen due to the high capacity of its wastewater treatment system.