Norsk Hydro Inks Agreement to Pursue Use of LNG at Brazil鈥檚 Alunorte Refinery

Norsk Hydro Inks Agreement to Pursue Use of LNG at Brazil鈥檚 Alunorte Refinery
Hydro Alunorte, located in the state of Para, northern Brazil, is the world鈥檚 largest alumina refinery. Source: Norsk Hydro

Norsk Hydro and the Brazilian state of Par谩 have entered into a Letter of Intent, and Hydro and Shell Brasil Petr贸leo LTDA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, both of which are aimed at transitioning the fuel supply for the Alunorte aluminium smelter from fuel oil to liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The Letter of Intent between Hydro and Par谩 was executed on Wednesday by Svein Richard Brandtz忙g and Sim茫o Jatene, the state鈥檚 governor. Norsk said in its press release that the LoI is to foster development of the necessary infrastructure for the plant鈥檚 switch to LNG. The Alunorte plant would, if the plan comes to fruition, be the first significant user of LNG in the state.

Hydro and Brasil Petr贸leo signed their agreement on Tuesday. The MoU sets forth plans for delivery, infrastructure immediately adjacent to the plant, and calls for a feasibility study assessing the economic and technical issues surrounding the plan.

At present the plant uses fuel oil to power the calcination process and for producing a portion of the plant鈥檚 steam. LNG has not been used at the plant before now due to the lack of necessary infrastructure.

Norsk鈥檚 Brandtz忙g said that the switch to LNG has been a goal for the plant for a good while, and points out that the switch now in the works is emblematic of the firm鈥檚 environmental strategy.

鈥淗ydro aims to be carbon neutral from a life cycle perspective in 2020. This project supports that goal, and if successful, will both reduce our carbon emissions and improve the competitive position of Alunorte, the world鈥檚 largest alumina refinery,鈥 he explained.