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Luis Viga (Fortescue): One of The Giants of Green Hydrogen

14:20 15 de November de 2022 Por Daniel Oiticica

Luis Viga, Business Development Manager of FFI

Global green energy company, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) is a pioneer in developing technology to produce green, zero-carbon hydrogen from 100% renewable sources. It is a solution that will help revolutionize the way we power our planet: decarbonizing heavy industry and creating jobs globally. Over the past few years, FFI has been looking for new markets to develop industrial projects, and when it arrived in Brazil, it chose Ceará, one of the country’s leaders in alternative energy research. “We want to install the first renewable hydrogen plant in Brazil, to establish a new and important energy market, which will be essential for the environment,” explains FFI’s Business Development Manager in Brazil, Luis Viga.

Why did FFI decide to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Ceará to participate in the Green Hydrogen Hub?
We believe that it is critical to transform the way humans produce energy to address the climate crisis. Changing energy systems from fossil fuels to renewable energy, such as solar or wind, will reduce the emissions that cause climate change. But you need to start immediately. That’s why zero-emission energy must be available on an industrial and global scale as soon as possible and at a price that competes with that obtained through polluting gases. This is where green hydrogen comes in and presents itself as an optimal solution to this problem. Latin America is positioned as a key region for the energy transition with abundant, high quality renewable energy resources and a strategic location that allows it to be at the forefront of growth and job creation for the region’s economy. This is why, since 2020, FFI has started to seek opportunities to develop green renewable energy and green hydrogen projects, with Brazil being one of the main markets for this emerging industry. Therefore, we signed in July 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding with the state of Ceará to evaluate the opportunity to develop industrial projects based on green hydrogen. The aim is to carry out development studies on the feasibility of installing a green renewable hydrogen plant and also to enable collaboration with local universities to develop research programs to promote hydrogen-related technologies, with a view to training and hiring local personnel.

What competitive advantages does Ceará offer?
Ceará actively promotes the development of green hydrogen projects. The local government has done a great job aligning public goals with private interests to support the development of these types of projects. Likewise, Ceará has a competitive and large-scale potential for wind and solar projects, essential for the development of the green hydrogen industry. In addition to this, it has a world-class port infrastructure in Pecém and several fiscal advantages, such as the ZPE and Sudene, for example.

How important is this cooperation between the private sector and the State?
To foster the development of this nascent market, policies are needed to support investment in large projects and to capitalize on the opportunities presented by renewable energy. The state government of Ceará strongly supports the development of green hydrogen projects. Likewise, the support of the Federation of Industries of the State of Ceará (FIEC) and other stakeholders is fundamental and constant for the promotion of this necessary market for the decarbonization of the global energy matrices. The active support of all these stakeholders is one of the fundamental aspects for FFI to be able to develop its project in the State of Ceará.