Petrobras, Brazil’s state-controlled oil giant, is setting its sights on the burgeoning hydrogen market. Mauricio Tolmasquim, Petrobras’ Director of Energy Transition and Sustainability, announced on Tuesday that the company may explore selling hydrogen domestically or overseas, depending on market prices and regulations.
This statement was made at an event organized by the Brazilian Center for International Relations (Cebri) and the Institute of The Americas in Rio.
Green and Blue Hydrogen: On the Radar
Interestingly, Petrobras isn’t merely eyeing one type of hydrogen. Both green hydrogen, which is produced from renewable energy sources, and blue hydrogen, derived from fossil fuels, are being considered as potential products for sale. “Hydrogen is on our radar, both green and blue. The green because we intend to produce renewable sources, and produce the green hydrogen from electrolysis, and the blue because we have natural gas and specialists in injecting carbon dioxide. But we’re still looking at the market,” said Tolmasquim.
International Hydrogen Market: Opportunities and Challenges
According to Tolmasquim, Petrobras is also exploring participation in an upcoming hydrogen auction in Europe. The American market, despite its subsidies for hydrogen production, is also of interest. However, the international competition presents a significant challenge. Tolmasquim stated, “We still don’t know how to compete because there is a worldwide offer to participate in these auctions. We want to get into the field of hydrogen, but we still don’t know what it’s going to look like.”
Biofuel Advances: A Step Towards Sustainable Maritime Transport
Apart from hydrogen, Petrobras is also innovating in the biofuels sector. The company has initiated testing on a marine fuel composed of 24% renewable content, a marked increase from a successful previous test involving 10% renewable content. “We want to move forward in the area of biofuels. It’s still something experimental, it’s a limited-time project, it’s not something commercial,” Tolmasquim clarified.
For these tests, 560.70 liters of the new fuel blend was used to supply a chartered ship located in Rio Grande do Sul, within a Petrobras logistics subsidiary area. According to Tolmasquim, the fuel, consisting of 30% soybean oil and 17% animal fat, was processed by the Montes Claros plant. The goal is to reduce emissions significantly compared to traditional mineral fuel.
While these initiatives represent experimental ventures, they are clear indicators of Petrobras’ commitment to energy transition and its willingness to enter new markets, thereby shaping the future of global energy.