Novo Gramacho Biogas Plant Opens: from Trash City to Green Energy Center
The Novo Gramacho biogas plant officially opened June this year, transforming a former environmental wasteland into a green energy center that purifies the gases that accumulate as waste decomposes. The cleaned biogas will be delivered to a nearby customer via pipeline, fueling a portion of its energy needs with renewable natural gas. The use of this cleaned biogas will displace the use of natural gas from fossil fuels. A portion of the cleaned biogas will power the operations of the Novo Gramacho facility.
In 2012, FirmGreen and other U.S. green-technology suppliers benefited from a $48.6 million loan from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) supporting exports of equipment and services for the development of the Novo Gramacho biogas project in Brazil — the world’s largest biogas project of its type.
FirmGreen estimates that the biogas project directly:
- generated 165 new jobs at its facilities
- Supported jobs in seven states: Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, California, Michigan, Missouri and Texas
The loan borrower, Gas Verde S.A., is the project owner and will operate the Novo Gramacho biogas plant located at the 140-hectare Jardim Gramacho landfill near Rio de Janeiro. One of the world’s largest solid-waste landfills, Jardim Gramacho was the subject of “Waste Land,” an internationally acclaimed documentary that was nominated for an Academy Award in 2011. The biogas purification plant converts the site’s “dirty” methane gas (a by-product of trash decomposition that lingers for years and is more environmentally harmful than carbon dioxide) into clean, usable biomethane gas.