Unigel signs R$1bn contract with Casa dos Ventos

Unigel | Nosso negócio é a química

Unigel, the largest producer of acrylics, styrenics and nitrogen fertilizers in Latin America, and Casa dos Ventos have just signed a 20-year power purchase agreement valued at more than R$1 billion. The Brazilian petrochemical company’s first agreement to use wind power enables the construction of the 360-megawatt Babilônia Sul project in Bahia.

Unigel’s CEO Roberto Noronha told Valor the contract will ensure that “an important part” of the electricity used comes from renewable sources as the group is focused on reducing carbon emissions by 200,000 tonnes a year. “Sustainability has become a prerequisite to analyzing any project,” the executive said.

Unigel did not reveal the power contracted with Casa dos Ventos because it is about to launch an IPO. The wind farm complex in Bahia will get around R$2 billion in investments and the agreement provides for the eventual acquisition of a stake. This way, the petrochemical company will be able to become a partner and a self-producer of electricity, ensuring supply and even more competitive costs.

The contract with the petrochemical company will come into force in 2024 and replace part of the electricity from non-renewable sources currently used in its operations. Unigel’s power generation mix includes electric power and natural gas, in addition to the steam generated at its sulfuric acid production unit at the Camaçari Complex, in Bahia.

Mr. Noronha said the agreement with Casa dos Ventos is strategic, since it puts the company “on the path to achieving its goal of having a relevant part of power consumed from renewable sources.”

After investing R$500 million to resume operations in two fertilizer plants leased from Petrobras in Bahia and Sergipe, Unigel announced a few weeks ago that it will invest in the country’s first green ammonia plant in Camaçari.

The unit, which is expected to start operating by the end of 2022, will require more renewable power to obtain ammonia from hydrogen (from water) and nitrogen from the air. According to Mr. Noronha, the company is looking at new opportunities for contracting wind and solar power.

As for Casa dos Ventos, the new partnership drives the development of the project in Bahia. The construction work began this month, and the wind turbines have already been purchased from Vestas.

The Babilônia Sul project will involve five specific purpose companies and is already in search of new contracts, said Lucas Araripe, head of new businesses at Casa dos Ventos.

Source: Valor international

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