Ceará just gained a new road made up of a sustainable and innovative asphalt composition. EDP and Eneva inaugurates the first road in Ceará which repurposes coal ash in its pavement. This residue is a sub product from electrical energy generation at the Thermoelectric plant of Pecém, in the state of Ceará, the plant being made up of UTE Pecém I (under EDP Brasil’s management) and UTE Pecém II (under Eneva’s management). The ashes are used in two layers that make up the base of the road. In one layer, the ash will replace common soil in 50%. In the other, it will make up 95% of the compost. It is the first time this kind of application is used outside the lab.
The road has an extension of 1,3 kilometers and 12 meters in width. The study to develop this composition began in 2015 and counted on the participation of the Federal University of Ceará. At all, the Project received a total investment of R$ 4,1 million. The structure will receive traffic from loaded trucks, employee transport buses and recreational vehicles. The environmental benefit comes from the use of the coal’s ashes – a sub product from energy generation – as main raw material.
“EDP has as a key signature continued investment in innovation, sustainability and governance. The inauguration of this road leaves a legacy and endorses the company’s actions in justifying acknowledgements such as the B3 Corporate Sustainability Index (ISE). The replacement of natural soil in the asphalt’s composition brings both environmental and economical gains” states Lourival Teixeira, EDP Brasil’s generation director.
The main possibility to explore in the research and practical application of coal ashes as a substitute to make asphalt is to avoid the unearthing of natural deposits and extraction of native soil, avoiding therefore environmental degradation. Besides, the Federal University of Ceará will elaborate the User’s Manual containing norms and maintenance instructions that will incentive the conception of new pavements utilizing ashes from Thermoelectric plants.
Mineral coal in blocks of concrete
This is not the first time that a research carried out by EDP Brasil targets the re-use of ashes from mineral coal. In 2016, the administrative unit of UTE Pecém employed approximately R$ 5,8 Million in studies to investigate the addition of these residues to the mass that forms concrete blocks used in the construction of walls, on the curbs and on the outside pavement (both on pedestrian and on pavement for vehicular use).
Developed alongside the Federal University of Ceará and the Technology College of the Northeast (Fatene), the composition uses 95% of traditional components and 5% of ashes. The pre-molded parts are made with the addition of cement and a series of other components. The most traditional components are sand and stone dust. In this case, a small part of these materials was replaced by the ashes.
About EDP in Brazil
With over 20 years in the market, EDP is one of the largest private companies in the Electricity sector to operate in all aspects of the supply chain. The company has more than 10 thousand collaborators between direct and third-party employees working with Energy Generation, Distribution, Transmission, Sales and Customer Service. It has six hydroelectric and one thermoelectric generating units and reaches around 3,5 million customers through its distribution grid in the states of São Paulo and Espírito Santos. Recently it became the main stock-holder of CELESC in the state of Santa Catarina. In Brazil, EDP is seen as a benchmark in Innovation, Governance and Sustainability, featuring for 13 consecutive years on the B3 Corporate Sustainability Index (ISE).
ENEVA is an integrated energy company, with business spanning from electrical energy generation and exploration to the production of hydro carbonates. Its business model is centered on the management of reservoir-to-wire (R2W), integrated thermal generation to natural gas producer fields. With a thermal park boasting an installed capacity of 2,2GW, ENEVA makes up 11% of thermal natural gas capacity installed in the country. When it comes to oil and gas, it is the largest private natural gas operator of Brazil, with a production capacity of 8,4 million m³ per day. The company operates an area of over 40 thousand km² in the bay of Parnaíba, in Maranhão, equivalent to the size of Switzerland.