Pacific Hydro, Vale: joint venture to power cleaner mining in Brazil

23 June 2012

The Hon Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia, last night announced a consortium agreement between Australian renewable energy company Pacific Hydro and Brazil’s Vale, the world’s second-largest mining company, at a roundtable on Green Growth, Energy & Food Security during Rio+20 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The agreement formalises the companies’ intentions to jointly build and operate two wind farms in Brazil’s northeast. Under the consortium agreement, each company will have 50% ownership of the projects, which are expected to be completed by late 2014. The projects will represent an investment of approximately R$650 million (~AU$315 million).

Vale will be the sole off-taker of clean electricity produced by the projects for a period of 20 years, utilising 100% of its generation as self-production for its operations.

Signing of the consortium agreement will allow the companies to jointly complete the development of the projects including equipment supply and transmission connection arrangements.

Vânia Somavilla, Executive Director of Human Resources, Health and Safety, Sustainability and Energy at Vale, said this is the company’s first venture into wind energy and represents an important step for increasing the use of clean and renewable sources in Vale’s energy matrix.

“Vale’s global demand for electricity is expected to increase 150% by 2020 and we’ve been seeking options to meet this demand, on a sustainable way, using renewable sources such as hydro, wind and biomass. The option to develop wind projects also helps diversify our energy matrix, reduce our emissions and ensure cost competiveness in the long term.”

Pacific Hydro CEO, Rob Grant said that with their commitment to wind energy Vale has clearly demonstrated their commitment to a clean energy future.

“As the world’s second-largest mining company and Brazil’s largest energy user, Vale is leading the way in the industry by demonstrating not only their commitment to a cleaner world but to climate change and fuel price risk management.”

“We are looking forward to further developing our partnership with Vale in Brazil and internationally.”
Pacific Hydro already supplies renewable energy to some of the world’s largest resource companies such as Rio Tinto in Australia and CODELCO in Chile.

Operating for 20 years, Pacific Hydro has developed and operates 300 MW of wind farms and hydros in Australia, where it built the country’s first commercial wind farm in 2001, operates 500 MW of run-of-river hydros in Chile and 58MW of wind farms in Brazil.

The company is also set to start its retail operations in Australia in the next quarter, offering clean energy solutions to medium and large organisations.

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Note to editors: High resolution photos of the ceremony are available upon request.