BNDES - Brazilian Development Bank

Environmental criteria to support the power generation segment

Support for the segment of thermoelectric power generation using coal, oil or diesel fuel and natural gas, within the scope of financing under the direct and indirect forms and underwriting securities, requires certain socio-environmental criteria be met.

Technological and environmental performance standards

Support requests will only be classified as eligible is the applying companies use efficient processes and equipment with technological and environmental standards of performance, which is certified by their respective manufacturers in accordance with the criteria set forth below.

Minimum technological standards for coal-fired thermal power

Combustion systems

Plants that use imported or national coal: supercritical pulverized coal or fluidized bed or integrated gasification with a combined cycle.

Equipment to control emissions

A combination of equipment that is required to meet the maximum emission standards (see below): desulphuriser, low NOx burners, denitrifying and equipment to remove particulate matter from the beginning of commercial operation.

Maximum emission standards for thermal power plants run on coal, diesel or fuel oil 

Maximum limits of emission for atmospheric pollutants
(values in mg/Nm³)
Thermoelectric generation process Power MP* NOx (as NO2) SOx (as SO2)
Thermoelectric generation internal combustion process fuel oil Less than 100 MW 50 2.000  1.170 
More than or equal to 100 MW 50 740 585
Internal combustion diesel oil Less than 100 MW 50 1.850 1.170
More than or equal to 100 MW 50 740 585
Combustion of mineral coal All 50 400 400
Combustion of natural gas (simple cycle or combined) More than 100 MW NA 50 NA

 * Particulate material.

For the processes of thermo-electrical generation from coal combustion the results should be expressed in the unit of concentration mg/nm³, on a dry basis and 6% excess oxygen. For the processes of thermo-electrical generation from the internal combustion diesel or fuel oil and natural gas combustion, the results should be expressed in the unit of concentration mg/nm³, on a dry basis and 15% excess oxygen.

Previous license

To be classified as eligible, applicants should submit an officially-published Previous License, issued by the competent state organ, Member of the Sistema Nacional do Meio Ambiente (SISNAMA)  , or as a substitute, by the Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e Recursos Naturais Renováveis - Ibama.


The BNDES support requires the presentation of:

  1. appropriate and definitive solutions to dispose of ash resulting from burning coal and desulphuriser waste;
  2. specific studies on how thermoelectric plants use water so as to assess possible restrictions on the appropriate supply to the population;
  3. a plan to offset greenhouse gas emissions (GEE) based on relevant legislation.