Votorantim to Triple Wind Power Next Year, Sets 1 Gigawatt Goal

Votorantim Industrial SA, a Brazilian industrial conglomerate that expanded into renewable energy three months ago, is planning to triple its wind capacity by next year, part of a long-term effort to eventually own 1 GW of clean power plants.

The company’s purchase in June of a 206 MW wind farm in the northeastern state of Piaui also came with an option to acquire another 400 MW of wind projects from the developer, Casa dos Ventos Energias Renovaveis SA. Votorantim has decided to move ahead with those purchases, Fabio Zanfelice, chief executive officer of the Sao Paulo-based company’s Votorantim Energia unit, said in an interview in his office on Oct. 8.

He plans to focus on selling energy into Brazil’s spot market, where prices have skyrocketed since a record drought in 2013 curtailed output from some of the country’s hydroelectric dams. That’s prompted industrial companies to sell their surplus energy and invest in new power plants.

"We are focused on renewable energy development," Zanfelice said. “Wind energy is the most competitive technology in Brazil right now.”

Renewable Capacity

Votorantim also has a pipeline of about 15 small hydroelectric plants under development throughout Brazil, totaling 300 MW. Zanfelice said he expects the company to have at least 1 GW of installed renewable capacity within a decade.

Votorantim Industrial has operations in 20 countries and produces cement, metals, orange juice and wood pulp, according to its website. After a planned expansion in the metals group was halted about three years ago, the company began producing more energy than it needed for its own industrial production, according to information provided by its press office.

The company is now Brazil’s fifth-largest energy trader. It has 33 big hydroelectric plants and five thermoelectric plants, with 2.6 GW, most of which is used to power its own operations.

"Votorantim Energia is a start up inside the group,” Zanfelice said. “Now that we are building our first energy asset to be completely directed to the market, we want to generate cash to invest in new projects."

Votorantim will invest 1.13 billion reais ($300 million) for its first seven wind parks in Piaui. The company won a 20 year-contract in an energy auction in August, and is now seeking a loan from the country’s development bank BNDES.

Brazil added 2.8 gigawatts of wind power last year, boosting its total installed capacity by 82 percent to 6.2 gigawatts, according to the World Wind Energy Association.

©2015 Bloomberg News

Lead image: Flags of the States of Brazil. Credit: Donatas Dabravolskas /

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now


Making DDoS Mitigation Part of Your Incident Response Plan: Critical Steps and Best Practices

Like a new virulent strain of flu, the impact of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is...

The Multi-Tax Challenge of Managing Excise Tax and Sales Tax

To be able to accurately calculate multiple tax types, companies must be prepared to continually ...

Operational Analytics in the Power Industry

Cloud computing, smart grids, and other technologies are changing transmission and distribution. ...

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>

Archived Articles

PennEnergy Articles
2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

OGJ Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

OGFJ Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

Power Engineering Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

Power Engineering Intl Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

Utility Products Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

HydroWorld Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

COSPP Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

ELP Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013