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The Mendubim solar plant in the state of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil (Photo: Scatec)
Hydro Rein, Equinor and Scatec are starting operations at the Mendubim solar project

Sustainable Power at Hydro Alunorte Alumina Refinery

Autor: B S

Datum: 11. Mrz. 2024

March 2024 | Hydro Rein, Equinor and Scatec are starting operations at the Mendubim solar project in the state of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil. A  531 megawatt (MW) solar plant has been developed in a partnership between the renewable energy solutions providers.

The solar plant has started delivering electricity to the Hydro alumina refinery Alunorte.

“We are thrilled to complete the first of Hydro Rein’s renewable energy projects in Brazil. Our mission is to develop renewable energy solutions for more sustainable industries and Mendubim does just that. Most of the power output will go to Hydro’s alumina refinery Alunorte in Para, supporting one of the largest decarbonization projects in the world. We are very proud to take part in this development together with Equinor and Scatec,” says Head of Hydro Rein, Olivier Girardot.

Hydro Rein is a leading provider of renewable energy solutions to industrials, established by the global renewable energy and aluminium company Hydro in 2021. Hydro Rein has a diversified portfolio of more than 60 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects under development in core markets in the Nordics and Brazil.

Alunorte will purchase approximately 60 percent of the expected power produced through a 20 year USD denominated power purchase agreement (PPA). The remaining volumes will be sold in the Brazilian power market.

“We have a very robust roadmap to decarbonization to produce greener alumina at 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. With this project we reinforce 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,” says Alunorte’s Operations Vice President, Carlos Neves.

According to Scatec’s CEO, Terje Pilskog, this initiative represents a milestone in fulfilling the strategic ambitions of Scatec. “The burgeoning solar energy market in Brazil aligns with our commitment to sustainable progress, and we are excited to advance this impactful project with approximately three million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents avoided,” says Pilskog.

Having been active in Brazil for over two decades, Equinor sees the country as a pivotal location for sustained, profitable expansion. “Our investment in renewable energy supports Brazil’s goal of diversifying its energy portfolio and addresses the anticipated rise in energy demand. “By investing in renewable energy, we are supporting Brazil’s ambitions towards a diverse energy mix and helping to meet the expected power demand growth in the country,” says Olav Kolbeinstveit, Senior Vice President for Onshore and Markets within Renewables at Equinor.

All three partners have an equal economic interest of 30 percent in the project. In conjunction with the start of commercial operations, Alunorte has exercised its call option and now holds the remaining 10 percent.

About Alunorte

Hydro Alunorte is the world’s largest alumina refinery outside China and is located in the city of Barcarena, state of Pará. The refinery started operations in 1995, has approximately 2,200 employees and a nominal alumina production capacity of 6,3 million tonnes per year.  The alumina is the raw material for aluminum and is produced from bauxite. The bauxite used in Alunorte comes from Mineração Paragominas through a pipeline and from Mineração Rio do Norte (MRN) through the port of “Vila do Conde.” Part of the alumina produced is exported and the other part is supplied for the Albras plant also located in Barcarena, which produces aluminum ingots.


(Source: Hydro/2024)