Offshore Industry News

Petrobras Presents Projects to Become the Largest Offshore Wind Developer in Brazil

Petrobras will be the company with the largest offshore wind power generation potential in Brazil in terms of capacity filed with the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA).

The company filed a request with the environmental agency to give start to the licensing of ten areas in the Brazilian sea for the development of offshore wind energy projects. Of those, seven areas are in the Northeast region (three in Rio Grande do Norte, three in Ceará and one in Maranhão); two in the Southeast (one in Rio de Janeiro and one in Espírito Santo) and one in the South (Rio Grande do Sul). Together, these areas, which will be evaluated, have a potential capacity for the development of offshore wind projects with up to 23 GW in total capacity.

The licensing request signals Petrobras’ interest in developing its own projects, in addition to partnership projects, such as the areas jointly studied with Equinor, as announced in March this year. This type of request to IBAMA does not secure the right to the areas, which should only happen after a process to be conducted in accordance with the regulations currently under discussion in the National Congress.

Image2 Petrobas microsoftteams image 17.png 2000.0x1685.0 q85 subsampling 2(Image credit: Petrobrás)

“This initiative represents Petrobras’ effective entry into the offshore wind energy segment. And this step is compatible with Petrobras’ greatness. We are preparing the company to become the largest developer of wind energy projects in Brazil. We are the company that has the most knowledge of the Brazilian offshore environment and we have a tradition in maritime operations that can bring relevant synergies to offshore wind projects,” said Petrobrás’ CEO, Jean Paul Prates. “The development of our own projects does not diminish in any way our interest in developing partnership projects, which could be established in these same areas in the future,” he added.

Petrobras is already conducting the largest wind mapping campaign in Brazil. In 2023, the company completes a decade of offshore wind measurements and, as announced on 08/31, is expanding wind measurement campaigns in some locations in the Brazilian sea to evaluate the technical feasibility of future offshore wind energy facilities. For example, this is the case for six platforms located in shallow waters on the coast of the states of Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará and Espírito Santo.

Floating Wind Technology

The area chosen in the state of Rio de Janeiro is different to all the others already filed with IBAMA for offshore wind projects in Brazil. It is the only one with water depths of more than 100 meters, in which it is not possible to use fixed foundations, buried directly into the sea floor. In this case, the facilities have to be floating, similar to the technology that has been developed by the company in partnership with USP, as announced in August of this year.

“The technology for floating wind turbines has been developed very quickly and offers advantages for construction and installation, as it can be assembled in a port, on the coast, and towed to the installation site, without the need for specific vessels for installing wind turbines at sea. The feasibility of projects with floating structures will open up possibilities for integration and supply of energy to our production platforms,” said Petrobrás’ Energy Transition Officer, Maurício Tolmasquim.

Partnership with Equinor

Earlier this year, Petrobrás announced the signing of a letter of intent with Equinor to evaluate the technical-economic and environmental viability of seven offshore wind energy generation projects on the Brazilian coast, with the potential to generate up to 14.5 GW.

The filing of environmental licensing requests for its own projects does not interfere with the development of projects in partnership with Equinor, whose technical work continues to be carried out. The development of projects in partnership with companies with recognized expertise in this industry continues to be a priority for Petrobras.

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