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Brazilian alumina refinery to convert to natural gas

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LNG Industry,

Hydro – a Norwegian aluminium company – has announced that it has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with the state of Pará and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Shell Brasil Petróleo LTDA to replace a portion of its current fuel oil consumption at the Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil with natural gas.

Currently, the company uses fuel oil in the calcination process and for part of the steam generation. Hydro claims that natural gas is preferred due to its lower cost and emissions.

The LoI aims to develop infrastructure and enable the use of natural gas in the region. Hydro Alunorte would be the first significant gas consumer in Pará, and serve as an enabler for establishing new LNG infrastructure in the region.

The MoU with Shell outlines terms for the delivery of LNG, as well as the establishment of the necessary infrastructure close to the Alunorte plant. Under the terms of the MoU, a detailed feasibility study will be carried out before other agreements with Shell can be signed, in order to assess the project’s technical and economic viability.

The CEO of Hydro, Richard Brandtzæg, said: “Hydro aims to be carbon neutral from a lifecycle perspective in 2020. This project supports that goal, and if successful, will both reduce our carbon emissions and improve the competitive position of Alunorte, the world's largest alumina refinery.”

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