The Porto de Sergipe I power plant is a 1.55GW natural gas-fired power plant in Barra dos Coqueiros, Brazil. The power plant was successfully commissioned in March 2020.
The project included the construction of an integrated floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) for natural gas, along with an associated gas pipeline and mooring infrastructure. It also has a dedicated 33km-long, 500kV high-voltage transmission line.
Centrais Elétricas de Sergipe (CELSE) is the developer of the project, with an estimated investment of $1.74bn. CELSE was formed in 2015 by Brazilian utility EBRASIL and Golar Power, which is a 50/50 joint venture between Golar LNG and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners.
Construction of the natural gas-fired power plant started in September 2016 with the laying of the cornerstone.
The project created nearly 2,500 direct jobs during construction and will support up to 200 jobs during the operational phase of 25 years. It is expected to provide additional power during dry seasons to meet electricity demand in the region.
Porto de Sergipe I power plant make-up
Developed on a 511,622m² site, the power plant is located approximately 10km from Aracaju, Sergipe State’s capital city.
The project features three GE 7HA gas turbines, a GE steam turbine, a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) and other related equipment.
The 7HA gas turbine technology can deliver full power to the grid in less than 30 minutes and generate more power with 50% less CO₂ emissions.
The power plant receives natural gas from the FSRU Golar Nanook, located 6km from the coastline.
The FSRU has a storage capacity of 163,000m³ of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a regasification capacity of 21 million normal cubic metres per day (MNm³/day). It features a submerged soft yoke system (SSY), which allows for the free rotation of the FSRU and provides connectivity with the gas pipeline to transport fuel to the plant. Tankers/LNG carriers transport LNG to the FSRU.
CELSE signed an agreement with Golar Power to charter the Golar Nanook FSRU for 25 years for the Sergipe project in October 2016. The FSRU was constructed at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard and is owned and operated by Golar Power.
CELSE signed a long-term LNG sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with Ocean LNG for the supply of 1.3Mtpa of LNG for the Sergipe project in November 2016. The fuel supply will be made on an ex-ship basis.
Qatar Petroleum holds 70% stake in Ocean LNG, while the remaining 30% is held by ExxonMobil.
The transmission system for the Sergipe project comprises a high-voltage step-up substation, two independent transmission circuits approximately 34km long with 80 towers and 24 conductors including two communication cables, and a bay at an existing substation.
Electricity produced by the power plant is transmitted by the Porto de Sergipe I substation to the Jardim substation of the National Interconnected System (SIN) through the dedicated transmission line.
The Jardim substation is located in the municipality of Nossa Senhora do Socorro.
Power offtake from Porto de Sergipe I
Sergipe I will deliver power to 26 off-takers for a period of 25 years under various power purchase agreements (PPA) executed by the Brazilian Government in 2015.
The power plant can provide up to 15% of energy demand in the north-east part of the country.
CELSE raised R$3.4bn ($1.5bn approximately) in financing from a group of banks and multilateral organisations in April 2018.
Goldman Sachs Brazil issued approximately R$3.4bn worth of Brazilian simple non-convertible debentures as part of the transaction, which was insured by Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV), the Swiss export credit agency.
CELSE also raised an additional R$1.3bn in project debt, including $200m from International Finance Corporation (IFC) and a $288m loan from Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC). The IIC investment included $38m from IIC, $50m from China Fund and $200m from Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Contractors involved with Porto de Sergipe I
GE was awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the power plant. The contractual scope also included the 33km transmission line, substation expansion and seawater intake/discharge infrastructure for the power plant’s cooling requirements.
GE was also awarded an operations and maintenance (O&M) contract for the power plant along with a contractual service agreement (CSA) for providing long-term maintenance services and parts for the gas and steam turbine generators.
CELSE awarded an EPC contract to Sapura Energy Do Brasil for the gas pipeline of the Sergipe 1 project. Sapura was also responsible for the transportation and installation of the FSRU’s mooring system and setting up the FSRU/riser/umbilical.
APL and NOV were contracted for the supply of the SSY and accessories.