Norwegian Firms Equinor, Scatec and Hydro Rein Launch 531 MW Solar Plant in Brazil

Norwegian Firms Equinor, Scatec and Hydro Rein Launch 531 MW Solar Plant in Brazil

Brazil welcomed the addition of a 531 MW to its grid, thanks to the efforts of the trio of Norwegian firms Equinor, Scatec and Hydro Rein. The latest plant, the Mendubim solar project in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte is one of the biggest stand alone solar projects in Brazil. Originally scheduled to be started in late 2023, the project is a significant pat of the global ambitions of the Norwegian trio.

The three firms, an oil and gas firm (Equinor), a renewable power company (Scatec) and a subsidiary of Norsk Hydro, hold 30% stake each in the project, managed through a joint venture.

Mining and Minerals Firm As Buyer

The main buyer of the power from the project, almost 60% lof it, is Alunorte, which has signed a 20 year power purchase agreement with the promoters. Alunorte is also a Norwegian+Swiss owned aluminium refinery in the country owned by Norsk Hydro and Swiss mining giant Glencore. The remainder of the power produced at the project will be sold to the Brazilian market.

The Alunorte refinery has an annual production capacity of around 6.3 million tons per year. “We have a very robust roadmap to decarbonisation to produce green alumina in [the] Alunorte refinery, which will bring us to be one of the lowest carbon emitting refineries in the world by 2030 and reach zero emissions by 2040,” said Carlos Neves, vice president operations at Alunorte, which owns the remaining 10% stake in the Mendubim project.

“With this project we reinforce [Norsk] Hydro’s commitment to deliver zero-carbon aluminium products to customers, and Alunorte is an important enabler of the overall ambition of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

The Brazilian renewable market has come into focus for solar developers in the past two years, as the country targets an even higher share of renewables, in its hydro power dominated grid.

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Tony Cheu

Tony is a BSc who has shifted from a career in finance to journalism recently. Passionate about the energy transition, he is particularly keen on the moves being made in the OECD countries to contribute to the energy transition.