Alto Rodrigues Photovoltaic Plant © Petrobras
Alto Rodrigues Photovoltaic Plant © Petrobras

Petrobras plans $18m green hydrogen plant amid $100bn oil expansion plans

Brazilian state-owned Petrobras will invest $18m to construct a pilot electrolysis plant to pursue green hydrogen research, as the oil major persists on a $100bn oil expansion plan.

The company signed a cooperation agreement with the Senai Institute for Renewable Energy (ISI-ER) to undertake the project, which will evaluate the production and use of hydrogen produced through solar-powered water electrolysis.

Electrolysis will be powered by Petrobras’ 1MW Alto Rodrigues Photovoltaic Plant in Rio Grande de Norte, which will be expanded to 2.5MW to meet electrolysis demand.

Hydrogen produced from the site will be used in microturbines to evaluate using mixtures of hydrogen and natural gas over the course of three years.

Jean Paul Prates, President of Petrobras, said the project will contribute to analysing the economic viability of low-carbon hydrogen and derivatives production projects.

“One of the big themes in relation to low-carbon hydrogen is the operation of electrolysis technology directly connected to the renewable energy source, with its intermitted characteristics,” said Maurício Tolmasquim, Director of Energy Transition Sustainability at Petrobras. “One of the objectives of this project is to advance our knowledge about this type of operation.”

However, Prates recently unveiled a $100bn investment strategy focused on offshore oil exploration and production, with the company eyeing a fresh round of global expansion.

In 2021, Petrobras revealed a strategic plan where it revealed goals to:

  • Reduce total operational emissions by 25$ by 2040
  • Reject around 50 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030 with CCUS projects
  • Reduce carbon intensity from refining by 16% by 2025 and 30% by 2030

gasworld’s North American Hydrogen Summit 2024

Join the H2 View and gasworld teams in New Jersey on April 8-10, 2024, for the dual Decarbonisation Summit 2024 and North American Hydrogen Summit 2024.

The global industrial gas and equipment business has an imperative role to play in the future of clean fuels and decarbonisation. The energy transition simply won’t happen without it. And hydrogen has a key role to play.

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