August 8, 2019
The changes that may be made by Petrobras to the Rio de Janeiro Petrochemical Complex project will now be licensed by the State Environmental Institute (Inea), an environmental agency of the state of Rio de Janeiro, and no longer by Ibama. The move is part of a 10-year technical cooperation agreement signed between the two environmental agencies.
The agreement provides that Inea will be responsible for the environmental licensing of the project, installation and operation as well as any changes in technical characteristics. The environmental agency of Rio de Janeiro is chaired by Claudio Barcelos Dutra.
In June, Petrobras President Roberto Castello Branco confirmed that the company is studying the construction of a gas-fired power plant at Comperj during a hearing at the Chamber’s Mines and Energy Commission (CME). The study for the feasibility of a joint venture with the Chinese state-owned CNPC is due for completion in September. CNPC is a partner of Petrobras in the Mero field in the Santos Basin and also negotiates with Petrobras to enter the Marlim fields in the Campos Basin.
“We are studying an idea of building a large gas-fired power plant from Comperj in parallel with the memorandum of understanding with CNPC,” said Castello Branco.
Petrobras has hired the Shandong Kerui and Potential Method consortium to resume construction of Comperj’s Natural Gas Processing Unit (NGPU) in Itaboraí, Rio de Janeiro. The contract is valued at about $ 2 billion. The goal is for the unit to be operational by 2020, with a capacity to process up to 21 million m3 per day of natural gas.
The resumption of the project is fundamental for Petrobras, which needs the NGPU to be able to drain the natural gas that will be produced in Mero and other pre-salt fields of the Santos Basin, which is already the largest natural gas producer in the country.
But the contract also has political and social weight. The resumption of Comperj’s work is an old claim of deputies, mayors, and city councilors in the surrounding municipalities.