Brazil energy watch

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, December 07, 2022
Brazil energy watch

Norway’s Equinor has made the final investment decision on Mendubim, a 531MW solar power project in Brazil. 

A joint venture with Scatec and Hydro Rein, the undertaking is located in Rio Grande do Norte state. 

The three partners have equal economic interests of 33.3% in the project and will jointly perform engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services. 

Operation and maintenance services as well as asset management will be provided jointly by Equinor and Scatec.

Mendubim is Equinor's second large-scale solar power project in Brazil, where the company started activities in renewables with the 162MW Apodi solar plant, in operation since 2018, in partnership with Scatec.

The total investment is estimated at US$430mn and will rely on a combination of long-term financing and capital contributions from the partners.

“From 2024 onwards, Mendubim will produce about 1.2TWh of energy annually, which is equivalent to the energy consumption of 620,000 Brazilian households," Olav Kolbeinstveit, senior vice president of energy and renewable markets at Equinor, said in a statement. 

About 60% of the power produced will be traded through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Alunorte, the world's leading supplier of alumina to the aluminum industry.

The remaining 40% of the production will be sold in the Brazilian energy market. The power trading services are to be carried out by Hydro Energia and Danske Commodities, Equinor's power trading company. 

Danske Commodities recently established an office in São Paulo to support Equinor's activities in the country.


The lower house of Brazil’s congress approved a bill on Tuesday that increases the deadline for installing PV solar distributed generation systems with exemption from power distribution fees. 

The proposal will now be analyzed by the senate.

The current law foresees the termination of the benefits on January 7, 2023. If the new law is approved by congress, micro and mini generators, usually of photovoltaic energy, will have until July 2023 to file requests with the distributor. 

The exemption will also be valid for new small hydroelectric plants with a generation capacity of up to 30MW. In this case, the deadline will be extended for another year and a half.

The bill also foresees that part of the 2.5GW of gas-fired plants programmed to be contracted in the center-west region, as part of the conditions for the privatization of Eletrobras, will be generated by new small hydro plants, with contracting taking place in 2023. This will apply to plants of up to 50MW.


The local power regulator Aneel has approved a plan to transfer control of Enel Distribuição Goiás to Equatorial Participações e Investimentos, as an alternative to the termination of its concession.

The goal of the plan is to avoid ending the concession, a drastic measure that would negatively affect the quality of the services provided to consumers and the realization of new investments. 

Equatorial is active in the power distribution segment, mainly in the acquisition and restructuring of power distribution companies. 

“Equatorial's control of the concessionaire is a step towards the adequacy of the electricity distribution service provided to consumers in the state of Goiás,” Aneel said in a statement. 


Aneel also approved the regulatory agenda with the list of strategic activities that may be regulated in the period from 2023 to 2024.

In all, 15 strategic topics were approved, including regulatory adjustments for the implementation and exploration of offshore power plants and the regulation of access to the transmission system amid the expansion of renewable generators.


The mines and energy ministry (MME) has published a tender for the qualification of projects for the Poço Transparente (transparent well) program. 

The initiative is designed to expand the knowledge about hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in unconventional oil and natural gas reservoirs and disseminate information on environmental aspects and the application of the technique, making the data available to society.

The tender documents are available here, in Portuguese.    


The president of Petrobras, Caio Mário Paes de Andrade, has accepted an invitation from the governor-elect of São Paulo state, Tarcísio de Freitas, to be part of the team for the next state government. 

In a statement, Petrobras reported that Andrade will remain in his current position over the next few weeks and will not participate in the government transition in São Paulo.

“As CEO of Petrobras, he’ll continue to give exclusive attention to the change of command that will take place in the company, working together with the other executive officers for a professional, transparent transition that adheres to good governance rules,” Petrobras added.  


Enauta's average daily production was 17,800boe (barrels of equivalent oil) in November, down 12.3% from the previous month. 

The Atlanta field produced 12,900b/d of oil in the period and Manati 1.7Mm3/d of natural gas. 

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