Environmental Technologies Industries
||Environmental Technologies Industries
|Brazil Environmental Export Market Plan|
|III. The Market by Sector|
This chapter presents a detailed sectoral discussion, with relevant case studies, of the main environmental technologies.
Water and Sanitation Services
Among all the environmental submarkets, potable water, municipal sanitation services (sewer systems and wastewater treatment plants), and industrial wastewater treatment offer the best opportunities for U.S. firms.
Potable water and sanitation services in Brazil have historically been municipal responsibilities, with the actual service frequently contracted out to state-owned water and sanitation companies. Sabesp, the São Paulo State Sanitation Company, provides water and sewer services to 331 of the 540 São Paulo municipalities. Among the other major state owned sanitation companies are Caesb (Brasília), Sanepar (Paraná), Copasa (Minas Gerais) and Cedae (Rio de Janeiro). The 27 state owned companies supply water and sewer services to 97 million people, or approximately 63 percent of the national population. While drinking water supplies are available to a large percentage of the population (over 90 percent in the principal cities of São Paulo state; 67 percent in Brazil overall; and 50 percent in the Northeast), the figures for sewer connections are lower, and the figures for wastewater treatment are lower still. Even in São Paulo state, the percentage of wastewater treated does not exceed 25 percent, while it is practically unknown in the poverty stricken Northeast.
As noted earlier, there are two approaches being used to address these deficits. One is the classic multilateral development bank (MDB) approach for massive infrastructure investment; the other is the privately financed concession approach.
In terms of absolute dollar amounts, there is a huge volume of projects either under way or about to commence in 1996. Most of these projects are multiphase and therefore present multiple bidding opportunities.
Current major wastewater and river cleanup projects being funded by MDBs include:
1. Tietê River Cleanup in São Paulo. The project consists of the construction and expansion of five conventional sewage treatment facilities; expansion of the sewage collection system; drainage projects; and installation of pretreatment equipment in industries previously dumping raw effluent into the River or sewage system. The IDB will provide $2.6 billion over the next five years, with additional funding from the government of São Paulo state and the Japanese Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF).
The project has been plagued by bidding irregularities and other legal problems. After a large group of companies attempted toão Paulo (SABESB), cancelled the contracts in March 1995. Three contracts were rebid, and the rest will be rebid in the future. The completion of the first phase of the project is projected for the end of 1998, a two-year delay. On the other hand, the program calling for the installation of industrial pretreatment systems for 1,250 installations has largely achieved its goals.
2. Guanabara Bay Cleanup. The cleanup of the once beautiful Guanabara Bay will require $793 million, $250 million of which will be from the Japanese OECF, $350 million from the IDB, and $193 million from the state of Rio de Janeiro. The project will build four sewage treatment plants (respective sizes are 4 cubic meters/second, 1 cubic meter/second, 1 cubic meter/second and 0.8 cubic meter/second) and expand the existing sewer system; expand potable water supplies; improve river drainage; improve garbage collection; build recycling and composting facilities; and reconstruct and expand existing landfills. Industrial wastewater discharges will be controlled through required pretreatment.
Work on various components of the project has already begun. The state environmental protection agency of Rio de Janeiro, the State Foundation for Environmental Engineering (FEEMA), estimates that the project will provide new or enhanced environmental services for 5 million people.
3. Guaíba River Cleanup. This is a four-phase project in the state of Rio Grande do Sul valued at $1 billion over a 16- to 20-year period. It is also a major river basin cleanup involving the construction of sewage treatment works and expansion of existing sewer systems. The first phase of the project will start by the end of 1995 and includes the construction of four sewage treatment facilities, two in the capital, Porto Alegre, and two in the surrounding metropolitan area, and the laying of 800 kilometers of sewer connectors. Presently, Porto Alegre, a city of 1.5 million people, discharges approximately 2 cubic meters per second of untreated wastewater.
The state water company, CORSAN, and the Porto Alegre water and sewer department, DMAE, are in charge of this first phase, which is valued at $220.5 million, $132 million of which is coming from the IDB.
4. Bahia de Todos os Santos Sanitation Project. In the state of Bahia, this $600 million project is to be financed by $240 million from the Inter-American Development Bank and the rest from the state government of Bahia. Bahia de Todos os Santos, or All Saints Bay, is the large bay next to the city of Salvador, Brazil’s third largest city and a major tourist destination. The project consists of detailed monitoring of All Saints Bay, expansion of the sewer network from the present 26 percent coverage to 80 percent coverage, control of industrial discharges, solid waste disposal and small wastewater treatment facilities in the cities adjacent to the city of Salvador, environmental education, and certain civil works.
These projects are massive public sector undertakings in which the private sector will be involved on a contract basis for design, engineering, and other technical and construction work. As of yet, there are no announced plans for private sector ownership and/or operation of the works in question.
The Concession or BOT Approach
State and municipal officials in São Paulo and southern Brazil are very interested in having the private sector assume responsibility for the construction, financing and operation of new wastewater treatment plants. This is part of a broader movement among state governments in southern Brazil to develop infrastructure, such as highways, railroads and power generation, through private-sector concessions. Lack of available government revenues in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro is the basic reason for this development. The seriousness of this interest was recently demonstrated when a group of thirty Brazilian public and private sector officials toured the United States in late September 1995 under the auspices of USAID to inspect wastewater treatment facilities, talk with plant operators, and hold discussions with financial experts on the best way to structure their concession projects to enhance their financeability.
Two recently awarded projects in the São Paulo cities of Ribeirão Preto and Limeira appear to be harbingers of the future.
1. Ribeirão Preto (population 450,000 and located 200 miles north northwest of São Paulo) awarded a 20-year concession in May 1995 to a consortium composed of the Brazilian firm REK Construtora and the U.S. firm CH2M Hill. The award was made at the conclusion of an international competition, and the actual signing of the contract with the city took place in September 1995.
The concession calls for the design, construction, financing and operation of a 1.4 cubic meter/second wastewater plant and two smaller facilities, plus the laying of certain sewer connection lines. Approximately $30 million will be required to design and build the plant. Over the 20-year life of the concession, some $200 million in revenues could be generated.
Ribeirão Preto is one of Brazil’s wealthiest cities. It is located in the middle of the region producing 70 percent of Brazil’s orange juice and 30 percent of its sugar cane alcohol fuel.
Details on the financing is not yet available, although it is known that the Washington, DC-based Global Environment Fund is involved, and it is expected that the Brazilian national development bank, BNDES, will also participate.
2. Limeira (population 220,000 and located 120 miles northwest of São Paulo) awarded a 30-year concession in June 1995 to a consortium composed of the French water giant Lyonnaise des Eaux and the well-known Brazilian-based multinational construction firm Odebrecht. The concession covers potable water supply and wastewater treatment. The consortium will expand the city’s drinking water supply as well as complete a partially built wastewater treatment facility and operate it for the balance of the concession term. It is expected that the consortium will invest about $100 million over the next five years to complete the capital works.
It is very difficult to estimate the pace of forthcoming municipal wastewater concessions. There is a tremendous demand for these projects. The main question remains how they will be financed. Many Brazilian municipalities are keeping a close eye on the Ribeirão Preto and Limeira projects to see how they are financed and to learn whether a model will be developed which can be applied to their municipalities. If a practical financing model can be developed, there could be dozens of such projects in the next several years. It should be kept in mind that São Paulo state has 97 municipalities with a population greater than 50,000. Relatively few of these treat more than 10 percent of their wastewater, and many do no treatment at all.
Another approach short of the full concession concept is contract operations. Under this approach, the municipality would build and own the treatment plant, but contract out operations to a qualified firm. The São Paulo-based Multiservice Engenharia was awarded a contract to operate the potable water system of the city of Jaú in São Paulo state in October 1995. In March 1996, Jaú announced that it would accept bids for a concession to expand and operate its wastewater treatment system.
The entire concept of third-party operations, known in Brazil as terceirização, is being vigorously debated in Brazil at the present time and will almost certainly be applied in the wastewater and water treatment fields.
A promising new growth area lies in the management and beneficial reuse of sludge generated by municipal wastewater treatment plants. As additional plants come on line across the country (both publicly owned and operated and plants under concession regimes), significant volumes of sludge will be produced.
Only about 10 percent of the volume of sewage in metropolitan São Paulo currently receives treatment, yet approximately 55,000 tons/year of domestic sewage sludge are already generated. As further treatment capacity comes on line, the generation of sludge will increase manyfold. For example, the Barueri treatment plant in western metropolitan São Paulo has an installed capacity of 7.0 cubic meters/second, but currently operates at 3.5 cubic meters/second. The ABC treatment plant under construction in São Caetano do Sul (southeast metropolitan São Paulo) will have a capacity of 3.0 cubic meters/second and should be operational in the second quarter of 1996. Presently, much of the sludge produced is put in landfills, but government officials are aware that this is not an optimum disposal practice, since the landfills in question are not designed to handle wastewater treatment sludge.
SABESP, the São Paulo state water supply and sanitation company whose jurisdiction includes metropolitan São Paulo, is willing to entertain proposals from U.S. firms with experience in this area. Composting, pelletizing, and other beneficial reuse methods will receive serious attention. A possible program would incorporate a water reuse program connected with the Barueri wastewater plant.
Looking at the market as a whole, there are obviously many business and financial questions to be answered, but Brazil’s extensive agricultural expanses (starting with the state of São Paulo’s massive citrus production) present intriguing possibilities. The use of treated sludge in conjunction with reforestation programs has also been mentioned.
Industrial Wastewater Treatment
The start up of river basin cleanup projects funded by MDBs (cited earlier) typically triggers obligations by industrial facilities located in those basins to treat their wastewater before discharge to municipal sewer systems or to receiving bodies of water. Since the major planned river basin cleanups geographically cover heavily industrialized areas, this process translates into a significant amount of industrial pretreatment activity.
São Paulo’s state Environmental and Sanitation Technology Company (CETESB) reports excellent progress among industries in decreasing their wastewater discharges. Of the 1,250 heaviest polluters into the Tietê River (representing some 80 percent of the total ), 89 percent have already achieved compliance with CETESB’s pretreatment specifications for their effluent. The São Paulo Federation of Industries (FIESP), has reported that companies have invested $200 million to upgrade their pretreatment capabilities. FIESP also reports that it provided technical assistance to one-fifth of its member companies in this effort. The São Paulo state government has provided $70 million to assist those companies.
While most of the industrial pretreatment work has already been accomplished in metropolitan São Paulo, there will be significant opportunities among companies affected by the Guanabara Bay and Guaíba River cleanups. Approximately 6,000 industries discharge into Guanabara Bay. However, 52 large facilities are responsible for 80 percent of the total discharge, and Rio de Janeiro’s state Foundation for Environmental Engineering (FEEMA), has published a list of the these firms that require wastewater treatment. Many of these companies, among them chemical plants, shipyards and refineries, have already initiated their cleanup projects, but many others have not. FEEMA has stated that it plans to publish the pollution figures from the discharging industries every six months. To initiate this part of the project, FEEMA is receiving $4.5 million from the IDB to modernize its laboratories. BNDES is providing credit lines at advantageous rates of interest to FEEMA-identified firms for effluent treatment programs.
Likewise, there will be substantial opportunities among industries which discharge into the Guaíba River in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Water Reuse Projects
A new area of great potential is in the treatment of municipal wastewater and its reuse for industrial process and/or agriculture. Although most of Brazil is not arid (the exception being the northeast interior), water shortages are becoming an uncomfortable fact of life in São Paulo and other cities. The continued growth of Brazilian cities is straining water supply capacity. For example, many neighborhoods in the metropolitan São Paulo region, particularly to the west and south, are on a semipermanent rotation system (rodízio) with respect to water supply. SABESP simply cannot keep up with demand. Not only does this mean that many sections of the city lack water on certain days of the week, but that industrial expansion possibilities in those same sections are unfavorable.
SABESP is considering the idea of a competition for a concession to construct and operate a water reuse plant contiguous to the Barueri wastewater treatment plant in the western zone of São Paulo. Depending on the source, the Barueri plant treats between 3.5 and 5.0 cubic meters/second of wastewater and returns 90 percent of it back to the Tietê River. This treated wastewater is not fit for human consumption, but further treatment could render it useable for industrial process use.
Other treatment plants either in operation or under construction around metropolitan São Paulo which offer similar opportunities include the Suzano plant (on the east side of the metropolitan region, with an installed capacity of 1.5 cubic meters/second and the ABC plant (on the southeast side, under construction, with an installed capacity of 3.0 cubic meters/second).
Air Pollution Control
Compared with water quality and water pollution issues, air pollution control is not as significant a national problem. That is not to say that serious local and regional air pollution problems do not exist. Rather, such problems principally plague a few major urban centers and are primarily caused by vehicular traffic, not industrial sources. In short, while metropolitan São Paulo and Belo Horizonte (state of Minas Gerais) suffer episodic smog problems, most of the country enjoys relatively good air quality. One source of air pollution is largely absent from Brazil, namely coal burning power plants. Over 90 percent of Brazil’s electricity is produced from hydro sources. However, Brazil's steel industry consumes 11 million metric tons of coal annually, and many new coal fired power plants are being considered for Rio Grande do Sul.
National Program for the Control of Air Quality
On June 15, 1989, the National Environmental Council, CONAMA, published the blueprint for its national air pollution control program in the form of Resolution No. 5, which sets out as national policy the following:
1. Establishes the National Program for the Control of Air Quality (PRONAR).
2. PRONAR’s basic strategy is to limit emissions based on the classification of the areas in question and to apply stricter standards to new sources of pollution; the country is divided into Classes I, II and III, with Class I limited to national and state parks, ecological preserves and other special tourist areas.
3. Establishes the National Air Quality Monitoring Network.
4. Creates the National Inventory of Air Pollution Sources.
5. Reserves to IBAMA the management of PRONAR, but allows the various states to implement their own air quality programs, including the setting of stricter standards if necessary.
About a year later, on June 6, 1990, CONAMA established national air quality standards under its Resolution No. 3. Based on U.S. EPA methodology, CONAMA adopted the familiar primary and secondary standards approach. Table I sets out the standards. Resolution No. 3 also established criteria for the Emergency Plan for Critical Episodes of Air Pollution, which will go into effect when very serious episodes of air pollution occur and which allows states and municipalities to take emergency measures. A summary of these criteria are set out in Table II.
National Air Quality Standards
(CONAMA National Air Quality Resolution No. 3, June 28, 1990)
POLLUTANT SAMPLING TIME PRIMARY SECONDARY
Total suspended 24 hours (1) 240 150
Geometric annual 80 60
Sulfur dioxide 24 hours (1) 365 100
Arithmetic annual 80 40
Carbon monoxide 1 hour (1) 40.000 40.000
(35 ppm) (35 ppm)
8 hours (1) 10.000 10.000
(9 ppm) (9 ppm)
Ozone 1 hour (1) 160 160
Smoke 24 hours (1) 150 100
Arithmetic annual 60 40
Fine particulates 24 hours (1) 150 150
Arithmetic annual 50 50
Nitrogen dioxide 1 hour (1) 320 190
Arithmetic annual 100 100
Source: CONAMA (1) Not to be exceeded more than once a year
Criteria for the Emergency Plan for Critical Episodes of Air Pollution
PARAMETER ATTENTION ALERT EMERGENCY
Sulfur dioxide 800 1,600 2,100
(µg/cubic meter - 24 hrs.)
Total suspended 375 625 875
SO2 x TSP 65,000 261,000 393,000
Carbon monoxide 15 30 40
Ozone 400 800 1,000
(µg/m3) - 1 hr.
Fine particulates 250 420 500
(µg/m3) - 24 hrs.
Nitrogen dioxide 1,130 2,260 3,000
(µg/m3) - 1 hr.
Smoke 250 420 500
(µg/m3) - 24 hrs.
Air Quality Control in the State of São Paulo
The state of São Paulo, through CETESB, operates the most extensive air monitoring system in Brazil. This consists of both an automatic system and a manual system. The automatic system, first established in 1981, now consists of 25 fixed stations (22 in metropolitan São Paulo and 3 in Cubatão) and 2 mobile laboratories. It measures fine particulates, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ozone, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, wind direction and velocity, humidity, and temperature.
The manual system consists of seven stations in metropolitan São Paulo and Cubatão and a total of 17 other stations in cities in the interior of the state and the city of Santos on the coast. The manual system in metropolitan São Paulo and Cubatão measures total suspended particulates. The system in the interior and for Santos measures sulfur dioxide and smoke.
In metropolitan São Paulo, the overwhelming air pollution problem is high ozone levels, particularly in the dry winter months. Vehicular traffic is responsible for approximately 90 percent of this problem. CETESB estimates that in 1995 there were some 4.3 million vehicles circulating each day in the metropolitan São Paulo region. This figure represents an increase of 15 percent over 1994. Of the total number of vehicles in 1995, 3.9 million were automobiles. The fact that 35 percent of these automobiles burn alcohol does help reduce the ozone levels. Fine particulates and carbon monoxide are also above accepted standards on an episodic basis.
The governmental response to this vehicle-induced smog problem has been relatively timid. The São Paulo municipal government planned for late 1995 a mandatory vehicle inspection program to be run by the private sector but the program has been delayed due to a complaint filed about the bidding process. For a five-day period from August 28 through September 1, 1995, CETESB promoted a voluntary program in which car owners were urged to leave their car at home for one day during the work week. Given the fact that the program was voluntary and that no fines could be issued, the response was fairly encouraging. The first two days of the program saw a 45 percent participation rate, which dropped to 35 percent on the next two days, according to CETESB. The state Secretary for the Environment, Fabio Feldmann, was encouraged and is proposing a three-month program for June, July and August 1996.
Whether even a three-month program will help the city’s smog problem remains to be seen, given the fact that as Brazil’s economy keeps growing, the number of cars on the road increases with it. Attacking the root cause of the problem, too many vehicles in and around the city, would entail a major expansion of the city’s excellent, but limited, subway system, upgrading bus and train service and building the long planned ring road around the city to divert commercial and other traffic. Unfortunately, these steps will require years to accomplish.
Outside of metropolitan São Paulo, the picture is brighter. Cubatão, the industrial city located on the coast 28 miles from São Paulo and 8 miles from Santos, had been called one of the most polluted cities in the world in the 1970s and early 1980s (please see earlier case study). Strong action by CETESB compelled the major industrial facilities to install air pollution control equipment and has resulted in the practical elimination of a serious air pollution problem. The main remaining problem is a dust (fine particulates and total suspended particulates) problem in the outlining area of Vila Parisi. Although states of emergency and alert have become rare, dust levels during May through September still exceed primary and secondary standards on a regular basis.
In the rest of the state, air pollution is limited to localized problems caused by concentration of industries. As noted earlier, monitoring is limited to sulfur dioxide and smoke. Only in the city of Sorocaba were annual and daily standards for sulfur dioxide and smoke exceeded.
Municipal Solid Waste
Brazil has huge unmet needs with respect to the handling and disposal of municipal solid waste. While up to 95 percent of municipal solid waste is collected pursuant to municipal contracts, a very small percentage is disposed of in environmentally safe landfills. The unanswered question is whether Brazilian municipalities will devote the resources needed to address this situation and its related public health issues.
The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) estimates that each Brazilian citizen generates an average of 0.6 kilograms of solid waste per day. With a population of about 150 million, Brazil therefore generates on the order of 90,000 metric tons of trash per day. The following are the IBGE’s conclusions on how municipal solid waste is handled on a national basis:
Final Destination Metric Tons/Day Percentage
Recycling/composting plants 1,800 2
Landfills (controlled) 9,000 10
Open dumps/other uncontrolled sites 79,000 88
Total: 90,000 100
The situation varies considerably from region to region, state to state, and even from city to city. But even in São Paulo state, the situation is grave, since only 7 landfills are designed and/or operated in an environmentally acceptable manner, while the remaining 487 city dumps have little or no controls (i.e., placement of daily cover, leachate collection systems, liners, etc.).
It is also of interest that Brazilian municipal solid waste is characterized by a higher percentage of organic material than is found in U.S. trash. Table III illustrates the composition of trash from three representative Brazilian cities.
Composition of Municipal Solid Waste from Three Brazilian Cities
Percentage (by weight)
Components São Paulo Curitiba Campo Grande
(1991) (1993) (1985)
Plastics 13 6 6
Paper and cardboard 14 3 19
Metals 3 2 3
Glass 2 2 3
Organic 61 66 62
Other 7 21 7
Source: Business Commitment to Recycling (CEMPRE)
Another important segment of the market is medical waste disposal. Most of the medical waste generated in Brazil is not now subjected to controlled disposal. São Paulo and other states are developing medical waste management plans. Regulations for medical waste are now being developed by the São Paulo Secretariat of the Environment. A more restrictive regulatory framework should increase the demand for advanced technologies regarding medical waste management in Brazil and provide opportunities in the medium term.
CETESB has made an estimate of the medical waste generated in major cities in the state of São Paulo:
City Population Volume (tons per day)
Campinas 1,200,000 8.0
Riberão Preto 500,000 2.0
Piracicaba 280,000 1.2
Presidente Prudente 250,000 0.7
Novo Horizonte 90,000 0.2
On a national scale, the absence of strict regulations enforced by aggressive environmental agencies will cause the market for design, construction, and operation of safe landfills and other methods of waste management to be smaller than it otherwise might be. A National Solid Waste Management Program is under discussion in Brasília. Such a program would include a national inventory of wastes and a provision for federal training and technical research. However, even in the absence of an enforcement driven market, there are many developing opportunities. Many major Brazilian cities, all across the country, have already upgraded their landfills or are making plans to do so (utilizing lined cellular landfills). The list includes the following:
City Population State
Belo Horizonte 2,017,000 Minas Gerais
Americana 154,000 São Paulo
Campinas 893,000 São Paulo
Caxias do Sul 291,000 Rio Grande do Sul
Porto Alegre 1,263,000 Rio Grande do Sul
Salvador 2,072,000 Bahia
Recife 1,297,000 Pernambuco
Petrolina 176,000 Pernambuco
Manaus 1,011,000 Amazonas
The geographic diversity of the list indicates a growing national awareness of the need to modernize solid waste disposal. Another indication of the changing nature of the market are the plans of the city of São Paulo to proceed with what the City’s Environmental Secretary, Werner Zulauf, calls the world’s largest integrated composting/recycling/waste-to-energy project. Interviewed in October 1995, Secretary Zulauf was expecting to open the bidding for the composting and recycling phases of the project before the end of 1995. Composting alone is being planned to handle 4,000 tons/day. Three waste-to-energy facilities will be built, and two have already been awarded to a U.S. - Brazilian consortium and an Italian - Brazilian consortium.
The city of Campinas (located 100 kilometers northwest of the city of São Paulo) is also planning to have a private company build and operate a joint trash recycling and waste-to-energy facility. Technical bid specifications were available in March 1995 and the bidding period closed on May 15. Three major consortia, a Swiss/Brazilian, U.S. /Brazilian, and Italian/Brazilian submitted bids. The adjudication process was delayed due to missing documentation in some of the bids. Campinas expects to award the contract in April 1996.
While waste-to-energy facilities are not an appropriate solution for most of Brazil because of high costs, formal recycling “Informal” recycling, or independent waste collecting and recycling, has been an important activity in the informal Brazilian economy for most of this century. This continues to be an active non-regulated activity which deals in the usual recyclables - paper/cardboard, ferrous metal, plastics, glass, and aluminum. It is thus both an environmental and social issue. seems to be gaining popularity. Trade associations, large Brazilian companies, and selected municipalities are participating at an accelerated pace. According to the recycling group Business Commitment to Recycling (CEMPRE), at least 82 Brazilian cities already have curbside recycling programs. Many medium sized southern Brazilian cities have started up small-scale recycling programs but lack experience and would welcome advice from experienced U.S. firms, if approached in an appropriate manner. One of the vanguard Brazilian cities in the recycling field is Curitiba in the southern state of Paraná. With a well deserved reputation for innovative environmental programs, it currently operates a recycling program that services about 70 percent of the city’s 1.4 million residents.
Table IV presents a summary of recycling efforts which have been coordinated by the business sector.
Major Recycling Programs Coordinated by the Private Sector
|Material||Amount recycled/year||Program Coordinators|
|Glass||300,000 tons||Brazilian Associations of Automated Glass Industries (ABIVIDRO), municipalities |
|Paper ||3,000,000 tons||Brazilian Paper Shredders Association, municipalities|
|Plastic||270,000 tons||Brazilian Association of Plastic Materials Recyclers (ABREMPLAST), municipalities and private companies|
|Steel Cans||290,000 tons||Brazilian Association of Steel Can Manufacturers (PROLATA), private companies and municipalities|
|Aluminum Cans ||720,000,000 cans||LATASA (J. Reynolds Group), percent municipalities and associations|
It is interesting to note that these recycling numbers have been achieved in the absence of mandatory bottle and can return legislation for beer and soft drinks.
Hazardous and Industrial Waste
Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal
While substantial progress has been made in the areas of air pollution control and wastewater treatment, there has been only slow progress in hazardous and industrial waste management. Metropolitan São Paulo alone is estimated by CETESB to generate approximately 150,000 tons of hazardous waste per year, but there is no licensed hazardous waste landfill in all of southern Brazil. There are four incinerators operated by chemical companies which have a total capacity of 20,000 tons per year. About 50 percent of this capacity is reserved for internal use.
Because of this significant shortfall in hazardous waste treatment capacity, the primary method of hazardous waste management is simply on-site storage. This practice, which is unfortunately common throughout Latin America, poses obvious dangers of accidents and explosions.
There are encouraging signs that this state of affairs is about to change. The first is the expected opening in the last quarter of 1995 of a hazardous waste fuel blending facility in Sorocaba and the subsequent incineration of the fuel in a cement kiln. (See Chase Manhattan Bank case study below.) This project indicates that a carefully crafted approach using 1) proven and appropriate technology; 2) a strong local partner; and 3) a well respected name in Brazil can succeed in a difficult market.
Case Study: Chase Manhattan Bank Ventures into the Hazardous Waste Field
In an unusual move for a U.S. financial institution, Chase Manhattan Bank has become directly involved in organizing an effort to build and operate a hazardous waste disposal facility in the interior of São Paulo state. However, the careful and thorough manner in which the project was organized and its steady progress toward final permitting and start-up make the entire effort a lesson in the right way to develop a hazardous waste facility in a foreign country.
Chase mobilized a team consisting of technology partner Nortru, Inc., a Canadian-based firm with a facility in Detroit which will be replicated in São Paulo; the Brazilian environmental consulting/engineering firm Resicontrol; and Brazilian investors. The facility is now undergoing final permitting. All equipment has been shipped to its final assembly point in Sorocaba, and the installation and operating permits from CETESB are expected by the end of September, with start up approximately 30 days later. Chase’s financial share is a one-third equity interest in Resicontrol. The Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) will provide the bulk of the financing.
After surveying all relevant technologies, Chase chose to work with Nortru, whose Detroit hazardous waste fuel blending facility could be replicated in São Paulo to handle spent solvents and other liquid hazardous wastes.
The São Paulo facility will be in the city of Sorocaba, approximately 100 kilometers west of the city of São Paulo, with good highway access to the heavy industrial concentrations in the state. After blending waste materials into a uniform fuel, it will be shipped to a nearby cement kiln for burning. The fuel blending facility will process 30,000 tons per year of liquid waste in phase 1; final capacity is planned for 60,000 tons per year. This latter figure represents 40 percent of the total liquid waste fuel market which metropolitan São Paulo is estimated to generate annually.
Among the many correct steps and decisions that Chase took in this enterprise were the following:
1. Siting -- It avoided a not-in-my-backyard (“NIMBY”) battle by choosing an industrial site which had been built to house a automobile parts manufacturer, but which suddenly became available. The actual incineration of the fuel will be at a cement kiln which is already in operation.
2. Appropriate technology and state-of-the-art pollution control equipment -- It made a thorough survey of applicable technologies and chose the best one for the Brazilian market.
3. Knowledge of the local market -- It drew on its extensive knowledge of the Brazilian market and deepened it further by comprehensive market studies.
4. Cooperation with the state environmental agency -- It made sure that CETESB, the São Paulo environmental protection agency, was kept fully informed about the project and has worked cooperatively with the agency during the detailed permitting process.
While the facility is not yet operating, the outcome looks positive. If all goes according to plan, this plant will be one of the few commercial hazardous waste facilities in all of Latin America.
Another project being developed in São Paulo state has been 100 percent Brazilian to date. It involves treatment of solvents generated by the São Paulo electroplaters using plasma technology.
Case Study: São Paulo Thermal Plasma Hazardous Waste Project
As the industrial center of Brazil, the state of São Paulo is home to a large number of electroplating companies. These firms, many of them in the small- to medium-size category, use electroplating solutions containing heavy metals, such as chromium, cadmium and others. Until about two years ago, these companies were allowed to discharge their wastewater without treatment. However, new environmental legislation and regulations now require pretreatment of wastewater prior to discharge. Electroplating companies have installed pretreatment systems and now generate sludge which contains heavy metals, flocculant agents, and other compounds. Since the sludge is considered a Class I sludge and would need to be disposed of in special landfills (a very expensive proposition), an association of electroplaters named Central Super was formed to investigate an alternate solution.
The Plasma Group of the Institute of Technological Research has been working independently on the treatment of industrial residues. After discussions with Central Super, successful laboratory scale tests were run on the electroplating sludge using plasma technology. Central Super and a government agency then provided funds for construction and operation of a pilot plant unit (150 kg/hour capacity). The unit was supposed to be completed in the second quarter of 1995, but delays have put off the completion.
If the tests are successful, a number of commercial facilities, each with a capacity of between 500 and 1,000 kilograms per hour, will be built. It is estimated that São Paulo electroplating companies generate 1,000 tons/month of sludge.
The question is whether other U.S. companies, working with Brazilian joint venture partners, can replicate these kinds of projects. Given the size of the market, there is room for many other similar facilities, not to speak of a hazardous waste landfill.
Hazardous Waste Remediation
Brazil does not have a Superfund statute, and the remediation market is still small. This is not to say that there is no hazardous waste remediation work occurring, but simply that there is no systematic, widespread remediation program in place.
Potential sources of remediation work are PETROBRAS and other large industrial firms. Since, as noted above, there is an acute shortage of treatment capacity, any solution offered for a remediation project will necessarily involve on-site treatment or destruction of the wastes in question.
Pollution Prevention and ISO 14001
The concept of pollution prevention is just becoming recognized in Brazil. The preferred method of dealing with environmental problems has been the classic “end of the pipe” approach. However, many large Brazilian companies and Brazilian subsidiaries of certain multinational corporations are seriously investigating ways in which they might reduce their wastewater discharges, air emissions, and waste generation by changing their production processes.
Reinforcing the growing interest in pollution prevention is the coming advent of the International Standard for Environmental Management Systems, known as Standard No. 14001. Now undergoing final review and expected to be finalized in early 1996, ISO 14001 is intended to encourage businesses around the world voluntarily to establish effective environmental management systems (EMS) to help companies achieve environmental and economic goals. The EMS is not a global performance standard, but rather a management structure to minimize an organization’s impact on the environment. The components are policy, planning, implementation, measurement, evaluation, and improvement.
Brazilian companies have already shown great interest in ISO 9000 which deals with establishing a quality control management system. In fact, with about 480 companies holding some 800 individual certifications and an additional 1,000 to 1,500 companies in different stages of implementation of their quality control systems, Brazil is by far the country leader in Latin America.
Given the large Brazilian export market and the number of multilaterals established in Brazil, there is a high degree of interest in achieving ISO 14001 compliance or third party certification. The São Paulo Federation of Industries, FIESP, is actively working with its members to keep them abreast of developments. The subject is also receiving considerable press in Brazilian trade and technical journals, and conferences, such as the one held in São Paulo October 23, 1995, are proliferating. A four-day conference, “ISO 9000: III Forum and Seminars on Competitiveness in Brazil,” October 23 - 26, 1995, was held in the city of Guarulhos, state of São Paulo. Although it is too early to judge the effect of ISO 14001 on pollution prevention, it is clear that it will be a spur to further efforts to minimize pollution simply because certification in ISO 14001 requires a company to consider ways to reduce its overall pollution.
Finally, the Brazilian federal government has plans to stimulate the adoption by businesses of ISO 14000 standards. In an October 17, 1995 story in Gazeta Mercantil, Brazil’s principal business newspaper, the federal Minister of the Environment, Gustavo Krause, revealed that the government by the end of 1995 will release its “Green Protocol” in which it plans to limit credit access to businesses that are not “environmentally correct” and will establish interest rates on loans proportional to the environmental risk of each project. The minister specifically mentioned the ISO 14000 standards. Being in compliance with ISO 14000 will count favorably in the system which determines which companies are eligible for government loans.
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