By DIANA KINCH
RIO DE JANEIRO -- General Electric (GE) said Thursday it
will invest 500 million reais ($245.5 million) in a research
and development center in Rio de Janeiro.
The center, which should be operational in the second half
of 2013 and employ 400, will focus on development of biofuels, alternative-energy
systems, intelligent systems and systems integration, said Ken Herd, GE's
global research center head in Brazil at a ceremony to mark the
laying of the center's foundation stone.
Mark Little, a GE vice president, said the center also will
develop subsea technologies together with clients including
Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras), Statoil and OGX.
"We will try to understand the specific needs of these
companies," Little said. "Presalt is a major challenge for the
Brazilian oil industry."
In the areas of biofuels, the center will work on
production and use of biodiesel in locomotives and biokerosene
for aircraft, he said.
The center also will study how to break down bagasse, which
is used in ethanol production, to reuse its
water content and produce more energy that can be sold to the
grid, Little said.
GE already has signed accords with Petrobras, Vale, OGX and
Embraer for the development of projects of interest to those
companies, the executive said.
Dow Jones Newswires