(TNPetroleo) GNA – Gás Natural Açu, a joint venture formed by BP, Siemens, SPIC Brasil and Prumo Logística, controlled by EIG Global Energy Partners, announces that the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel) released this September 16 ), all the generating units that make up the UTE GNA I for the start of commercial operation. Totaling investments of approximately USD 1 billion, GNA I is a thermoelectric power plant powered by natural gas located in Porto do Açu, in the northern region of the state of Rio de Janeiro.
With 1,338 MW of installed capacity, enough to supply energy to 6 million homes, the project will contribute to the energy security of the National Interconnected System (SIN).
Recently, GNA completed the issuance of infrastructure debentures, for the refinancing operation of UTE GNA I, in the amount of R$1.8 billion. The transaction was unprecedented in the capital market for several aspects, with emphasis on the performance of BNDES, for the first time, as an investor and structurer of an operation of this nature.
In addition to UTE GNA I, GNA will build UTE GNA II, with 1,672 MW of installed capacity, enough to supply energy to 14 million homes. With 3GW of energy secured in long-term contracts and an additional 3.4 GW of expansion licensed through the GNA III and GNA IV projects, the 6.4 GW Complex is the largest in Latin America and includes a terminal for handling Natural Gas Liquefied (LNG) where the FSRU BW MAGNA is moored, with the capacity to store and re-gasify up to 28 million m³/day.
The strategic location of Porto do Açu, close to the offshore gas producing fields, the network of onshore gas pipelines and the 500 kV power transmission circuit will enable the expansion of the gas and energy hub by receiving, processing and transporting natural gas associated and the integration of the gas sector with the electrical and industrial sectors, playing a relevant and strategic role in the country’s socioeconomic development in the coming years. The total planned investment for the GNA gas and power complex is around USD 5 billion.
The CEO of GNA, Bernardo Perseke, highlights that the entry into commercial operation of UTE GNA I is a milestone in the company’s history. “It is with great satisfaction that we announce the start of commercial operation of our first plant, which marks the transition of GNA to an operating company, as a prominent player in the Brazilian electricity sector. We went into operation at a crucial moment for the country, bringing reliable energy to the system, from natural gas, a fuel that catalyzes the global energy transition”.
Carlos Baldi, Implementation and Operations Director, also recalls that this achievement is the result of the teamwork of a very committed and dedicated team. “We faced together the biggest health crisis in history, which challenged us to seek solutions, with health and safety as priorities, to continue with our project and get here.”
Bernardo Perseke adds: “My thanks to the GNA team, our partners, financers and partner companies, as well as the support of various institutional bodies, at the Federal, State and Municipal levels.”
Energy efficiency and social and environmental commitment
UTE GNA I is a combined cycle thermoelectric power plant comprising three gas turbines and one steam turbine. Thanks to advanced technologies, approximately one third of the energy produced by the plant is generated from the steam turbine. This means a generation capacity of approximately 465 MW, without additional gas consumption, enough to supply more than 2 million homes.
The combined cycle operation and the use of high energy efficiency turbines, which combine lower gas consumption and lower atmospheric emissions, ensure the supply of electricity on a stable and secure basis to complement the expansion of renewable sources.
The engineering, supply and construction of the plant (EPC) was carried out by Siemens Energy, in consortium with Andrade Gutierrez. The company will also be responsible for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the plant.
The plant has a desalination unit, responsible for supplying water to the thermoelectric park. This unit allows the commercial operation to be based on 100% use of sea water, reinforcing GNA’s commitment to the rational use of water resources.
The plant began to be built in 2018 and employed more than 12,000 workers at different stages of the project. To prioritize the hiring of local labor, GNA created a free Professional Qualification Program, in which 56% of students who completed the courses were hired to work in GNA activities, including a relevant number of women, encouraging equity in gender in the workforce.
The strong safety culture is also noteworthy. GNA did not record any lost-time accidents in more than three years of work, reaching 25 million man hours worked without lost-time accidents in the implementation phase. The result, considered a world benchmark in the industry, is the result of a work of continuous awareness and daily prevention, carried out by GNA and its contracted companies, for whom life and respect for the environment are priorities.
International recognition in combating gender violence
Recently, GNA has obtained significant external recognitions that attest to the adoption of good environmental, social and governance practices, among which the International Finance Corporation (IFC) recognition of the gender violence prevention program as an international reference case deserves to be highlighted. .
One of GNA’s differentials is its shareholding structure, made up of leading companies in their areas of activity. The partnership between the partners brings strength and credibility to GNA’s performance by providing technology, technical and operational knowledge, as well as resources to develop and operate a world-class Gas and Energy hub.
Carlos Tadeu Fraga, CEO of Prumo, highlights GNA’s relevance to the business development strategy at Porto do Açu: “Açu’s unique location and infrastructure characteristics allow the development of an integrated gas, energy and industrial hub. The start of operations at UTE GNA I is a milestone for Porto do Açu and will contribute to attracting gas-intensive industries, essential to boost industrialization in the port’s retro area, and to accelerate the low-carbon business that Prumo intends to attract In the next years. The operation of GNA I positions Açu as a pioneer in this transition and the gateway to renewable and structuring projects in Brazil”.
Mario Lindenhayn, head of country at BP Brasil, highlights that natural gas will play an increasingly important role in the Brazilian energy transition and reinforces that GNA, as a plant powered by LNG, has an important role in the company’s strategy in the country.
“BP is an integrated energy company with global operations. Therefore, in addition to being an investor in GNA and an exclusive LNG supplier, it contributes to the project through its extensive experience in the LNG, natural gas and energy trading segments. We operate in several gas hubs around the world, and we have the knowledge to contribute to the optimization of the operation and risk mitigation for GNA”.
Wolfgang Beitz, CFO of Siemens Brazil, comments: “With this important milestone achieved, UTE GNA I is positioned to be a major contributor to the Brazilian energy sector”. The executive adds: “Together with our shareholders, Siemens is proud of our achievements so far in this project”.
SPIC Brasil is part of one of the five largest power generators in China, with a total installed capacity of 176 GW. “We are leaders in solar, wind, hydro, hydrogen and thermal energy, including gas and nuclear. Being part of this joint venture between large companies means maintaining our commitment to developing energy from innovative, sustainable and competitive sources for the Brazilian energy matrix”, says Adriana Waltrick, CEO of SPIC Brasil.
The works of the UTE GNA II will begin shortly, and it is expected to generate around 5,000 jobs during the construction phase. GNA also has an environmental license to more than double its installed capacity, reaching 6.4 GW, which will allow the development of new thermoelectric projects at Açu. The expansion of the complex also includes onshore gas pipelines and a natural gas processing unit (UPGN), currently in the licensing phase.