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Prumo to build Brazil’s largest thermal power plant

20 Dec 2017 18:21 GMT
Prumo to build Brazil's largest thermal power plant

Sao Paulo, 20 December (Argus) — Brazilian logistics firm Prumo Logistica plans to build Brazil´s largest thermal power plant, based on imported LNG, following its successful participation in an energy auction today.

The 1,672MW Porto de Acu 3 project accounted for roughly 43pc of the total installed capacity contracted in the auction.

Prumo sold power from the R3.432bn ($1.04bn) project for R213.91/MWh, a 33pc discount on the ceiling price of R319/MWh established for natural-gas fired projects.

Porto do Acu 3 will begin operating by January 2023 based on a 25-year power purchase agreement.

The project was the first gas-fired thermoelectric plant to sell power since the government modified the regulations for new projects to participate in its auctions for new power generation capacity.

Mines and energy minister Fernando Coelho Filho said the award highlights the improvements to the regulatory framework.

He added that the new regulations improve the attractiveness of gas-fired thermoelectric plants and make it possible to boost investment in regasification, which contributes to enhancing the reliability of Brazil's energy supply.

The award reinforces Prumo´s rapidfire ascent in Brazil´s LNG-to-power space, based on its growing Acu port project. Just before today´s auction, the company secured regulatory approval to take control of the 1,238MW Novo Tempo thermoelectric project, and to transfer construction of the project to its port in Rio de Janeiro state from Pernambuco state.

In June 2017, Prumo reached an agreement with Rio Grande do Sul-based Bolognesi Energia to acquire the project, which was significantly behind schedule.

The Novo Tempo project will use regasified LNG to be delivered into a planned floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) and will require combined investments of an estimated R3bn ($911.8mn).

It is not clear if Porto do Acu 3 would use the same FSRU or a separate vessel to supply its feedstock.

Aneel approved the transfer of the project from Bolognesi to UTE GNA I Geracao de Energia, which is a subsidiary of Gas Natural Acu and also approved the transfer of the project´s 37 power purchase agreements (PPAs) that the project won in a 2014 power auction.

Prumo, which controls Gas Natural Acu, said that the plant will contribute to the development of a gas hub in northwestern Rio de Janeiro state.

Prumo has already made significant headway with the development of the plant. In June, it reached an agreement to sell BP Energy a 30pc stake in Gas Natural Acu I, and BP also agreed to supply the LNG.

At that time Prumo announced that German industrial conglomerate Siemens also agreed to acquire a 33pc stake in the project. Under that agreement, Siemens will provide the power generation and transmission equipment.

In August, Siemens committed $21mn to the project as part of the deal. Additionally, the project has secured financing from the World Bank's project finance arm, the International Finance Corporation.

Despite the progress of the Novo Tempo sale, its sister plant, Bolognesi Energia's 1,238MWW Rio Grande thermoelectric project, remains stalled after Aneel revoked the concession contract in October. The decision was made less than one week after New Fortress Energy reached an agreement to take over the project.

Authorities from Rio Grande do Sul state are lobbying the federal government to overturn the decision.

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