Barcarena Vale power station

From Global Energy Monitor

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Barcarena Vale was a proposed 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Barcarena, Pará, Brazil.


The map below shows Barcarena, the approximate location where the plant was to be built.

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Initial license approval was granted to the Vale do Rio Doce corporation in 2008, with half of the plant's electrical output projected to be used in Vale's own mining and alumina processing operations in Pará state, and the other half to be fed into northern Brazil's electrical grid.[1] The project was suspended in May 2010, following transfer of Vale's Barcarena alumina operations to Norwegian multinational Norsk Hydro.[2]

As of May 2011, plans for the plant's construction had been revived, under the joint stewardship of Chinese logistics company Sinotrans and Barcarena Geração de Energia Ltda, a Brazilian subsidiary of China-based SDEPCI (Shandong Electric Power Engineering Consulting Institute). Under this new arrangement, Barcarena was to become the largest energy-related construction project contracted to a Chinese company in Brazil.[3][4].

Brazil's national electrical regulatory agency ANEEL authorized the Barcarena project to participate in the country's A-5 energy auction in April 2015. In a pre-auction press release, the national energy planning agency EPE described the project as a 600 MW coal plant in Pará state.[5] However, neither the Barcarena project nor any other Brazilian coal-fired plant won a government electricity production contract at the April 2015 auction, and the Barcarena project did not appear on ANEEL's official list of 2016 energy auction participants.[6]

Meanwhile, natural gas has emerged as a competitor to coal in Barcarena. In late 2015 Pará state senator Flexa Ribeiro, citing the environmental advantages of natural gas, successfully lobbied Brazil's Minister of Energy and Mines Eduardo Braga to modify the country's energy auction guidelines effective 2016 to permit construction of new power plants in Pará fueled with imported natural gas, such as Genpower Participações' proposed 1310 MW plant in Barcarena.[7] In February 2021, the Novo Tempo Barcarena power station was granted final approval as the first gas-fired plant to be constructed in Barcarena, with energy commercialization slated for January 2025.[8]

In 2016, a report about Brazilian coal published by the Fundação de Ciência e Tecnologia indicated that Vale still had plans for a 600MW coal-fired power plant in Barcarena, to be fueled with coal imported from Colombia or Mozambique.[9]

The 600MW Barcarena project was included on the government's official list of participants in Brazil's A-6 energy auction, held in December 2017[10], but was passed over in favor of other projects fueled by natural gas, wind or other renewables.[11]

The plant was not included in the October 2019 A-6 energy auction.[12] and as of January 2021 Vale's corporate website made no mention of the Barcarena project on its coal page[13] or its Brazilian energy assets page.[14] With no progress in more than four years the Barcarena Vale plant appears to be cancelled.

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Vale[9]
  • Parent company: Vale[9]
  • Location: Barcarena, Pará, Brazil
  • Coordinates: -1.505833, -48.625833 (approximate)
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Gross Capacity: 600 MW[9]
    • Unit 1: 300MW
    • Unit 2: 300MW
  • Type: Subcritical
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type: Anthracite
  • Coal Source: Colombia or Mozambique[9]
  • Source of financing:

Articles and resources


  1. "UTE de Barcarena: Usina a carvão da recebe a licença prévia do Coema (Conselho Estadual de Meio Ambiente)". EcoDebate. November 13, 2008.
  2. "Vale suspende termelétrica em Barcarena". Diário do Pará. May 4, 2010.
  3. "SINOTRANS Joins Hands with Shandong Electric Power Engineering Consulting Institute to Build the Biggest Coal-fired Power Plant in Brazil,", Every China, May 2011.
  4. "Barcarena Geracao de Energia Ltda,", BN Americas website, accessed October 2015.
  5. "Leilão A-5 2015 cadastra 19.826 MW em novos projetos de energia, diz EPE". Reuters. 2015-02-05.
  6. "Resultados dos Leilões de Geração,", ANEEL website, accessed December 2016.
  7. "Grupo apresenta estudo para implantação de usina termelétrica no Pará". Agência Pará de Notícias. December 9, 2015.
  8. "Governo licencia termelétrica que produzirá energia sustentável a partir de gás natural". Agência Pará de Notícias (in português). Retrieved 2021-09-09.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 "Boletim Técnico 36: Quantificação das Cinzas de Carvão Fóssil Produzidas no Brasil (p 9)", Fundação de Ciência e Tecnologia, July 2016.
  10. "Edital de leilão A-6 entra em audiência pública,", Agência Nacional de Energia Elétrica, October 3, 2017.
  11. "Leilão A-6 viabiliza 3,8 GW e R$ 13,9 bilhões em novos investimentos," CanalEnergia, December 20, 2017
  12. Sem usinas a carvão, leilão de energia movimenta R$ 44 bilhões, Jornal Minuano, Oct. 18, 2019
  13. "Carvão". Vale website. Retrieved 2021-01-12.
  14. "Energia: Ativos e participações: Brasil". Vale website. Retrieved 2021-01-12.

Related articles

External resources