Marlim Azul Power Plant also known as Usina Termelétrica Marlim Azul or Vale Azul I, is a 565MW gas-fired power facility that is under construction within the Macaé Logistics and Industrial Complex in the municipality of Macaé, approximately 200km north of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and in close proximity to the Cabiunas Terminal (Tecab).
The project is developed by Marlim Azul Energia, a joint venture (JV) between Mitsubishi Power, Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell), and Patria Investments (Patria), where Patria holds 50.1% interest in the power plant, while Shell and Mitsubishi Power own 29.9% and 20%, respectively.
The Marlim Azul Power Plant, the cost of construction of which is approximately US$ 600M, will be powered by Mitsubishi’s M501JAC, an air-cooled gas turbine that was launched back in 2012.
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Weighing 347t, the M501JAC gas turbine has a rotational speed of 3,600rpm, and it provides a maximum power generating capacity of 435MW in simple-cycle and 630MW in combined-cycle operation wherein it provides the lowest carbon emissions per unit of power.
Other than the turbine, which is said to have an efficiency of more than 64% and a reliability rate of 99.6%, the Marlim Azul Power Plant has other components that include a steam turbine, generator, boiler, cooling towers, gas station, and water treatment facility.
It is scheduled for commissioning by January 2023, upon which it shall generate, using natural gas supplied by Shell Brasil Petroleo, a Brazilian subsidiary of Shell, from its deep-water pre-salt basin operations, situated in offshore Brazil, through a 20km-long gas pipeline from the Cabiunas Onshore Terminal (Tecab), that receives natural gas from the pre-salt through the Route 2 sub-sea natural gas pipeline, enough electricity to meet the electricity needs of more than two million Brazilian households.
Marlim Azul Power Plant project team
Financed by Brazil’s National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), the Marlim Azul Power Plant project has Cobra Group as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor, who shall also oversee its testing and commissioning services.
Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) shall manufacture, supply, and install turbines along with the ancillary equipment, and maintain and service the facilities for a period of 25-years, while Macoga Group shall supply dog bone expansion joints that will serve as a flexible connection between the turbines and condensers.
Zhengzhou Boiler Group was contracted to manufacture and supply the boiler equipment, and Complastec Company assemble high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes required for the project.
Empresa Brasileira de Terraplanagem e Engenharia (EBTE) was subcontracted to carry out earthworks at the Marlim Azul Power Plant construction site while Entrepose Intech was selected for the construction of the gas pipeline connecting Tecab to the power plant.
Originally proposed to be developed by Vale Azul Energia and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems under project name Vale Azul II, Marlim Azul Power Plant was one of the projects that Brazil’s energy regulator, National Electrical Energy Agency (ANEEL), selected in an auction for power purchase in December 2017.
Vale Azul Energia, however, sold its stake in the project, as well as the environmental license, to Marlim Azul Energia, which led to the rename.
Marlim Azul Energia secured financing for the project from Brazil’s state-owned bank, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES).
Mitsubishi Power Americas, Inc. shipped an M501JAC gas turbine to the project’s site.
With the arrival of the generator at the project site, the combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant entered the equipment installation phase.