Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro ASA’s subsidiary Hydro Rein has signed an agreement with Macquarie Asset Management’s Green Investment Group (GIG) to build a 586 MW combined wind and solar project called Feijão in northeastern Brazil.
Per the firm, the project will power Hydro’s Paragominas bauxite mine and Alunorte alumina refinery, ultimately weaning both plants from coal-fired power by the end of the decade. The two plants have already signed long-term agreements with Feijão as the sole purchasers of the plant’s power production.
The project, which will be built in the states of Piauí and Pernambuco, will include 80 turbines with a total capacity of 456 MW. A possible second phase will include sufficient solar power to produce an additional 130 MW. A final decision on whether to go forward with the wind portion of the project is expected this winter, while a decision on the solar portion will be made later.
Olivier Girardot, Head of Hydro Rein, said in a press release that the move is another step in the direction of decarbonization.
“We are very pleased to play a part in developing more renewable energy in Brazil together with Green Investment Group. This project is an important milestone in the efforts to decarbonize Alunorte and an important milestone for Hydro Rein developing its portfolio of Brazilian assets.”
Mark Dooley, Global Head of Green Investment Group, said his firm was excited to collaborate with Norsk Hydro.
“Brazil has vast potential for wind development, and we are delighted to be partnering with Hydro on this late-stage project. Hydro’s Brazilian energy market expertise and regional presence, combined with our global wind and infrastructure experience, make for a strong partnership that can provide a boost to Brazil’s supply chain and the region’s ambitions to engage with the global wind opportunity.”
Norsk Hydro, which was founded in 1905, financed by the Swedish Wallenberg family and French banks, began its life named Norsk hydro-elektrisk Kvælstofaktieselskab (literally, “Norwegian hydro-electric nitrogen limited”) by Sam Eyde. The Norwegian government owns approximately 40% of the company at the present time. Norsk Hydro is one of the largest aluminium companies in the world, with plants in Rjukan, Raufoss, Vennesla, Karmøy, Høyanger, Årdal, Sunndalsøra, and Holmestrand. Norsk also has several plants abroad.