Barcarena Vale power station

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Barcarena is a proposed 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Barcarena, Pará, Brazil.

Location

The map below shows Barcarena, the approximate location where the plant would be built.

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Background

Initial license approval was granted to the Vale do Rio Doce corporation in 2008, with half of the plant's electrical output projected to be used in Vale's own mining and alumina processing operations in Pará state, and the other half to be fed into northern Brazil's electrical grid.[1] The project was suspended in May 2010, following transfer of Vale's Barcarena alumina operations to Norwegian multinational Norsk Hydro. [2]

As of May 2011, plans for the plant's construction had been revived, under the joint stewardship of Chinese logistics company Sinotrans and Barcarena Geração de Energia Ltda, a Brazilian subsidiary of China-based SDEPCI (Shandong Electric Power Engineering Consulting Institute). Under this new arrangement, Barcarena was to become the largest energy-related construction project contracted to a Chinese company in Brazil.[3][4].

Brazil's national electrical regulatory agency ANEEL authorized the Barcarena project to participate in the country's A-5 energy auction in April 2015.[5] In a pre-auction press release, the national energy planning agency EPE described the project as a 600 MW coal plant in Pará state.[6] However, neither the Barcarena project nor any other Brazilian coal-fired plant won a government electricity production contract at the April 2015 auction[7], and the Barcarena project did not appear on ANEEL's official list of 2016 energy auction participants.[8]

Meanwhile, natural gas has emerged as a competitor to coal in Barcarena. In late 2015 Pará state senator Flexa Ribeiro, citing the environmental advantages of natural gas, successfully lobbied Brazil's Minister of Energy and Mines Eduardo Braga to modify the country's energy auction guidelines effective 2016 to permit construction of new power plants in Pará fueled with imported natural gas[9], such as Genpower Participações' recently proposed 1310 MW plant in Barcarena.

In 2016, a report about Brazilian coal published by the Fundação de Ciência e Tecnologia indicated that Vale still had plans for a 600MW coal-fired power plant in Barcarena, to be fueled with coal imported from Colombia or Mozambique.[10]

The 600MW Barcarena project was included on the government's official list of participants in Brazil's A-6 energy auction, held in December 2017[11], but was passed over in favor of other projects fueled by natural gas, wind or other renewables.[12]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Vale
  • Parent company: Vale
  • Location: Barcarena, Pará, Brazil
  • Coordinates: -1.505833, -48.625833 (approximate)
  • Status: Announced
  • Gross Capacity:
    • Unit 1: 300MW
    • Unit 2: 300MW
  • Type: Subcritical
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type: Anthracite
  • Coal Source: Colombia or Mozambique
  • Source of financing:

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