GE’s Landfill Gas Technology Powers New Brazil Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project

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GE recently delivered a fourth J420 to the plant with start-up expected by end of 2011.

  • Asja Brasil’s Belo Horizonte Landfill-Gas-to-Energy Project in Minas Gerais Highlights Brazil’s Commitment to Alternative Energy Production
  • Three of GE’s Jenbacher Gas Engines Using Landfill’s Waste Methane Gas to Generate 4.3 Megawatts (MW) of Renewable Electricity
  • LFGTE Project to be Expanded with Fourth Gas Engine to Produce a total of 5.5 MW of Renewable Energy by End of 2011


Brazil’s goals to increase the production of renewable and alternative energy recently received an important boost with the successful start-up of Asja Brasil’s new 4.3-MW Belo Horizonte landfill-gas-to-energy (LFGTE) project in the state of Minas Gerais. The project currently features three GE (NYSE: GE) 1.4-MW ecomagination-qualified J420 Jenbacher gas engines. GE recently delivered a fourth J420 to the plant with start-up expected by end of 2011.

GE’s fuel-flexible gas engines are powered by landfill gas, which is created from solid waste decomposition and then recovered as a valuable renewable fuel. This gas would otherwise have been wasted by being released into the atmosphere as a potent greenhouse gas. Methane has a global warming factor that is 21 times greater than carbon dioxide, the most widely recognized greenhouse gas affecting climate change.

Asja Brasil, a subsidiary of the Italian multinational Asja Group, is managing the project to capture and recover the Belo Horizonte sanitary landfill’s waste gas for 15 years.

“This venture will be responsible for reducing the equivalent of 4 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, besides electrical energy cost savings for the city. This is now a reality thanks to GE’s innovative technology solutions and collaboration in this project,” said Enrico Maria Roveda, an Asja manager in Brazil.

The Horizonte-Asja consortium project, which began commercial operation in February 2011, supports the initiatives of the Brazilian government to increase the production of electricity from renewable sources and reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by between 36.1 and 38.9 percent from projected amounts in 2020. The project has been certified as a clean development mechanism (CDM) project. CDM is a carbon credit program established under the Kyoto Protocol.

Asja is further expanding the Belo Horizonte LFGTE facility with a fourth J420 Jenbacher gas engine to produce a total of 5.5 MW by the end of 2011—enough energy to supply an average Brazilian city of more than 60,000 people. Electricity from the power plant is being supplied to the local grid. Four of GE’s Jenbacher J420 gas engines running on landfill gas are designed to generate more than 44,000 MWh of electricity per year, which would require more than 12 million cubic meters of natural gas for generation in an average U.S. natural gas-fired power plant.

The Belo Horizonte LFGTE project builds on GE’s nearly 20-year business relationship with Asja.

“We are committed to working with our customers in Brazil and throughout Latin America by providing reliable, fuel-flexible energy technologies that can best meet their local energy, environmental and economic development priorities,” said Wendell Oliveira, general manager for GE’s Gas Engines business in South and Central America. “GE’s containerized J420 generator sets are quick to install and easy to relocate when a landfill’s methane gas reserves are depleted.”

GE’s alternative gas-to-power portfolio includes its Jenbacher and Waukesha gas engines, which are specifically designed to provide the fuel flexibility needed to accommodate the use of alternative fuels such as landfill gas while offering high levels of electrical efficiency. GE’s Jenbacher landfill gas engines are part of the ecomagination portfolio for successfully demonstrating that converting landfill gas to electricity demonstrates both improved value and environmental performance. Ecomagination is GE’s commitment to invest in a future that creates innovative solutions to global environmental challenges. Overall, GE’s Gas Engines business has more than 1,650 units operating on landfill gas with an electrical output of over 1,650 MW.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at

GE also serves the energy sector by providing technology and service solutions that are based on a commitment to quality and innovation. The company continues to invest in new technology solutions and grow through strategic acquisitions to strengthen its local presence and better serve customers around the world. The businesses that comprise GE Energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Management and GE Oil & Gas—work together with more than 100,000 global employees and 2010 revenues of $38 billion, to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; as well as other alternative fuels and new grid modernization technologies to meet 21st century energy needs.

GE has operated in Brazil since 1919, with offices in different states within the country and industrial units in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais. GE’s businesses in Brazil employ a total of about 7,000 people. For more information, please visit or the GE Reports Brasil blog at

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