GE has received a contract from Brazil's state-owned energy company Petrobras to convert the second unit of a power plant to burn sugarcane-based ethanol.

The Juiz de Fora power plant, located northwest of Rio de Janiero, is a simple-cycle, natural gas plant with a generating capacity of 87MW.

The plant has two GE LM6000 PC gas turbines, one with GE-modified combustors that enable the use of ethanol as well as natural gas.

The second aeroderivative gas turbine will now be retrofitted to burn ethanol to produce electricity on a full commercial scale.

GE said that this dual-fuel capability enhances the plant’s energy security and reliability by providing an alternative fuel source.

GE and Petrobras have completed five months of demonstration runs that validated the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel, as well as ensuring that emissions are within the expected limits.