Barcarena Alunorte power station

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Barcarena Alunorte power station (UTE Alunorte Barcarena) is an operating power station of at least 104-megawatts (MW) in Murucupi - Barcarena, Paraná, Brazil.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Barcarena Alunorte power station Murucupi - Barcarena, Paraná, Brazil -1.569926, -48.754535 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 2, Unit 3: -1.569926, -48.754535

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 2 operating coal - unknown, bioenergy - unknown 52 subcritical 2010 2030
Unit 3 operating coal - unknown, bioenergy - unknown 52 subcritical 2010 2030

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 2 Hydro Alunorte BV [100.0%]
Unit 3 Hydro Alunorte BV [100.0%]

Project-level captive use details

  • Captive industry use (heat or power): aluminum


  • Source of financing: Vale


Barcarena Alunorte is a captive two-unit, 104 MW coal-fired power plant that serves the Hydro Alunorte alumina refinery in Barcarena, Brazil, commissioned in 2010.[1] According to the sponsor company's website, Hydro Alunorte in Barcarena is the world's largest alumina refinery outside China.[2] The refinery has two units; the first began operating in 1995, while the second began operating in 2016.[2] The refinery and the connected coal plant employ around 2,200 employees and process 6.3 million tonnes of alumina per year.[2] Alunorte, which was previously owned by the company Vale, was bought by Norwegian conglomerate Norsk Hydro in 2011, who now owns 92% of the shares.[3]

Conversion from coal to natural gas and/or biomass

In 2020, Golar Power announced it was partnering with Hydro to develop the Celba FSRU, a floating storage and regasification unit projected to become the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the north of Brazil, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the region. The terminal would supply LNG to the Alunorte refinery plant by 2022, switching the plant to run on natural gas.[4][5] In April 2021, Hydro announced that it had decided to invest $1.1 billion (BRL) into the fuel switch project, in line with its goals to reduce the company's greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030. The switch was estimated to reduce the refinery’s annual CO2 emissions by 600,000 tonnes.[6] As of March 2022, Alunorte was also reportedly studying other methods of reducing its carbon emissions, including the possible fueling of its boilers with a mix of coal and biomass from acaí seeds.[7]

As of August 2022, New Fortress Energy (NFE) had delayed start-up of its Celba FSRU LNG terminal, but contracts remained in place for NFE to supply gas to the Barcarena Alunorte plant starting in 2023.[8]

In April 2023, a Hydro Alunorte report stated that the company would phase out coal altogether by 2030. [9] The report also stated that the plant had received environmental licenses to co-fire biomass from acaí waste and would conduct a study in 2023 to "understand how to replace natural gas with renewable hydrogen."[9] A Hydro statement updated in December 2023 maintained that the company would phase out coal use by 2030.[10]

Glencore acquires 30% stake of Alunorte refinery from Hydro

In April 2023, it was reported that Glencore and Hydro had signed an agreement in which Glencore would acquire 30% of the Alunorte refinery, following the termination of Hydro's bauxite contract with Vale.[11] According to Hydro's website, the partnership would continue efforts toward decarbonizing the refinery, by way of replacing "fuel oil with LNG, and the electrification of coal-fired boilers" leading Alunorte to carbon reduction "as early as 2025." [11]

Accidents at the Alunorte Refinery

Several mining companies have moved into the Barcarena area, and many have had accidents. The Alunorte refinery has had its fair share: in 2009, as a result of heavy rain, a major spill of toxic substances occurred which killed fish and damaged biodiversity in the nearby river. Brazil's environmental agency fined the company three times for the damage; however, the fines had still not been paid by 2018.

In February 2018, another storm caused an overflow at an Alunorte containment basin. The Justice Tribunal for Pará State investigated the accident and the company agreed to pay a fine of BRL$23 million (US$5.7 million) for the damage, as well as the remaining R$5 million (US$2.8 million) fine from 2009.

Several demonstrations have been organized by civic groups and locals as a result of various environmental disasters caused by the local mining companies and refineries. Issues of contamination, health defects, and more have impacted the communities near Alunorte.[3]

Articles and Resources


  1. "Uso de água em termoelétricas (p 28)" (PDF). IEMA. November 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Alunorte". Hydro. Retrieved 2021-05-20.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Borges, Thais; Branford, Sue (2020-12-10). "Brazilians impacted by mining assert: 'Genocide legalized by the state'". Mongabay Environmental News. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  4. "Golar Power takes major step towards one of world's largest GHG reduction initiatives". CNN. July 23, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. McKay, John (December 14, 2021). "New Fortress Energy signs 15-year gas supply agreement linked to LNG import and power project in Brazil". LNG Journal.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "Hydro to invest in Alunorte fuel-switch project". Hydro. April 27, 2021. Retrieved 2021-05-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. "Alunorte inicia operação da primeira caldeira elétrica em Barcarena". CanalEnergia. March 7, 2022.
  8. "New Fortress confirma operação de terminais de GNL de Santa Catarina e Pará em 2023". Agência epbr. 2022-08-04.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Hydro Operações de B&A e Sustentabilidade" (PDF). Hydro Alunorte. April 13, 2023. {{cite news}}: line feed character in |title= at position 19 (help)
  10. Gerenciando nosso impacto ambiental, December 5, 2024
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Hydro e Glencore firmam parceria para avançar ainda mais no desenvolvimento da Alunorte". Hydro. April 27, 2023.

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.