US energy infrastructure company New Fortress Energy (NFE) has begun the construction of a 1.6GW gas-fired power plant next to the Barcarena LNG (liquefied natural gas] terminal in Brazil.

The commencement of the project marks a significant development in Brazil’s energy sector, with the plant set to become operational by August 2026.

The EPC contract for the thermal plant was awarded to a consortium that includes Mitsubishi Power Americas and Andrade Gutierrez.

The move follows the closure of a 15-year capacity reserve contract that New Fortress acquired from Denham Capital and CEIBA Energy in March 2024.

The new power plant will provide capacity under a contract with the Brazilian Chamber of Electric Energy Commercialization and is a key component of NFE’s expansion in the region.

Its strategy includes the completion of the Barcarena and Santa Catarina terminals in the first quarter of 2024. Both are now fully operational.

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The Barcarena LNG terminal will support 2.2GW of power capacity owned by NFE and provide natural gas to the Norsk Hydro Alunorte alumina refinery under a 15-year contract, further integrating the company’s operations within the region’s energy landscape.

NFE managing director Andrew Dete stated: “We are very pleased to announce this EPC contract and the start of construction for our 1.6GW power plant in Barcarena.

“We are grateful to our partners at Mitsubishi Power and Andrade Gutierrez for their swiftness and collaboration in placing this great project into construction. and we look forward to finalising the work over the next 24 months.”

Mitsubishi Power Americas LATAM commercial senior vice-president and regional leader Tim Shore stated: “This 1.6GW power plant is a historic project for Brazil. It will allow for an efficient energy transition and ensure the reliability of the national electrical system.

“We are proud to participate together with Andrade Gutierrez to design and construct this important project to support NFE’s growth in Brazil.”