Spotlight: Brazil's green hydrogen projects

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, January 19, 2023
Spotlight: Brazil's green hydrogen projects

Brazil's energy minister Alexandre Silveira participated Thursday in the inauguration ceremony of EDP Brasil's first green hydrogen plant, which demanded 42mn reais (US$8.25mn) and is in the Pecém industrial and port complex, in Ceará state.

In a statement, the mines and energy ministry (MME) said hydrogen has great potential due to the energy transition and Brazil’s goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, aligned with the country’s Paris Agreement commitment. 

The ministry highlighted that several countries have fostered investments in low carbon hydrogen, and that Brazil has one of the greatest business potentials in this area.

Ceará has signed several MOUs involving green hydrogen investments with companies like Mitsui, Caetano Bus, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), Qair Brasil, Enegix Energy, the Transhydrogen Alliance consortium, Comerc Eficiência and Casa dos Ventos

In Pernambuco, Suape port has signed MOUs with Neoenergia, CTG Brasil, Galp Energia, Comerc Eficiência and Casa dos Ventos, Total Eren, Fortescue Future Industries, Qair/Copergás, Brid Logística, Mitsui, among others. 

In Rio de Janeiro, FFI, Shell and White Martins have signed MOUs with Prumo Logística to install hydrogen plants at Açu Port

White Martins has also inked a green hydrogen MOU with Rio Grande do Sul, where Elecnor/Enerfín and Neoenergia have plans to invest in green hydrogen production. 

The projects are mainly designed to use renewable energy from PV solar and onshore/offshore wind plants.


Nitrogen fertilizer manufacturer Unigel announced a US$1.5bn investment in a green hydrogen plant in Bahia. 

In the first stage, already under construction, the company is investing US$120mn, relying on high-efficiency electrolysis technology from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Nucera.

"Unigel has sufficient ammonia production capacity to produce green hydrogen. In addition, we have access to infrastructure and clean and competitive energy sources in the Camaçari petrochemical complex. Finally, Unigel also operates one of the only two ammonia terminals in Brazil, in the port of Aratu, also in Bahia," CEO Roberto Noronha Santos said in a press release.

Possible applications are mobility, as fuel for various types of vehicles, and as raw material in steelmaking and oil refining. 

Green ammonia is also expected to be used as a fuel, especially by bulk carriers and container ships. In addition, it can strengthen Unigel's sustainable product portfolio, since it is a raw material for fertilizer and acrylics production.

The company is currently negotiating strategic partnerships and financing lines and access to the capital market through an IPO to ensure competitiveness and the realization of the new project phases.

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