Vale, the Brazil’s largest individual energy consumer, and Petrobras, the national petroleum company, are forging ahead with plans to lead the transition toward green hydrogen.
The collaborative efforts, outlined in a protocol of intentions, encompass a range of low-carbon solutions, positioning Brazil as a potential hydrogen hotspot. This article delves into the goals, technology, potential impact, and challenges surrounding this ambitious endeavor.
Vale’s President, Eduardo Bartolomeo, emphasizes the pivotal role of hydrogen in achieving carbon neutrality, particularly in the production of green steel. The collaboration extends to other low-carbon solutions, including green methanol, biobunker, green ammonia, renewable diesel, and carbon capture and storage technologies. The ultimate aim is to establish Brazil as a competitive player in the global hydrogen market.
Vale’s megahub projects in the Middle East, targeting reduced carbon emissions in steel production, initially relied on the competitive pricing of natural gas. However, with Bartolomeo expressing confidence in Brazil’s potential to become the most competitive country in hydrogen, the focus shifts to leveraging green hydrogen to make the megahubs feasible in Brazil, bypassing natural gas.
Bartolomeo’s vision positions Brazil as a hydrogen hotspot, with Vale anchoring the demand and Petrobras playing a crucial role in kickstarting hydrogen projects. The collaboration, if successful, could account for a significant portion of Brazil’s energy matrix, representing a major step toward the country’s hydrogen ambitions.
Petrobras, currently the largest consumer of gray hydrogen in Brazil, is exploring ways to transition to renewable hydrogen in its refining processes. The company’s President, Jean Paul Prates, sees Vale and Petrobras as pioneers in hydrogen projects with Brazilian offtakers, aiming to address uncertainties regarding the price and demand for green hydrogen in the country.
Prates highlights the importance of offshore wind projects, a crucial element in the green hydrogen production process. Petrobras’s pursuit of significant offshore wind capacity, in collaboration with Equinor, aligns with the broader goal of enabling green hydrogen production alongside hydrogen plants.