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Itaipu and Scania strengthens Brazil-Sweden relationship
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The Ambassador of Sweden in Brazil, Per-Arne Hjelmborn, said that the technical cooperation agreement signed between Itaipu Binacional and Scania of the automotive industry, on the morning of Tuesday (18th), at the Itaipu Technological Park (ITP) in Foz do Iguaçu (PR), strengthens bilateral relations between the two countries and contributes to the pursuit for environmentally sustainable solutions in the urban mobility area.

Hjelmborn attended the ceremony alongside the Brazilian general director of Itaipu, Jorge Samek; the CEO of the ITP Foundation, Juan Carlos Sotuyo; of the Scania Bus sales director in Brazil Silvio Munhoz; and representatives of the Itamaraty (Brazilian Ministry of External Relations), city halls of the region and research institutes.

"The sustainable development is the key to making cities even better places to live, study and work," said the ambassador, noting that Brazil and Sweden develop several partnerships in key areas such as trade and investment in bioenergy, biofuels, innovation and defense.

"Sweden was one of the pioneer countries in the development and application of technologies for the use of biogas. The Swedish solutions are internationally recognized as highly innovative," said the ambassador. "The use of advanced technology has brought many benefits to the Swedish population, and is now a reality for Brazil as well."

The agreement signed between Itaipu and Scania provides to stimulate the Brazilian use of biomethane as a vehicle fuel. The project involves the International Centre for Renewable Energy-Biogas (CIBiogás-ER, developed by Itaipu and other 19 partner organizations), ITP Foundation and Granja Haacke, of Santa Helena (100 km from Foz do Iguaçu) – where biomethane used in the bionacional is produced, filtered and packed.

At the ceremony, was also made the first public presentation in Brazil of the Scania bus manufactured in Sweden, which meets the Euro 6 legal standards. The model, which will be in Itaipu until the 24th, is considered one of the most modern vehicles of public transportation in the world, using both compressed natural gas (CNG) and biomethane as fuel.
Jorge Samek noted that Itaipu and partners were already developing technologies for the use of biogas in the production of electrical and thermal energy from the use of agricultural waste activity – such as the Agroenergia Ajuricaba condo in Marechal Cândido Rondon, in Western State.

According to him, biogas brings an innovative solution to a serious environmental problem –the emissions of gases that cause global warming and pollution of rivers, lakes and streams. "Now, with this agreement, we take a step further, with the noble use of this gas in urban mobility. Therefore, to partner with Scania company, recognized worldwide, is a matter of great satisfaction to Itaipu Binacional," he said.

"The Scania bus [powered by biomethane] shows that this reality is feasible and that there is already a lot of people participating in the biogas production effort and, therefore, of biomethane in Brazil," added the director of Scania, Silvio Munhoz.

The superintendent of Renewable Energy from Itaipu, Cicero Bley Jr., who heads the Brazilian Biogas Association, said that a major goal of the partnership is to promote the inclusion of biomethane to the country fuel matrix. Currently, the National Agency of Petroleum (ANP) counts on an open public consultation to regulate the use of the fuel.

"To Itaipu, the Scania bus became a traveling laboratory that certifies the quality of the methane gas we are producing," he said. "If the gas of Granja Haacke, from laying hens, works in a bus powered by this fuel, it will work on any other vehicle. This is proof that our gas is of excellent quality," he stressed.

Also according to him, biogas production potential in the region reaches 56 megawatts of power, which would be equivalent to a small hydroelectric plant (SHP) applied to urban mobility. "It would be enough to move the entire fleet of public transport in our region," he said.