(Bloomberg) — Germany plans to boost cooperation on green hydrogen with Brazil during a South America trip of Economy Minister Robert Habeck.
The vice chancellor of Europe’s largest economy is being accompanied by a number of industry executives looking to strike new deals, which could help Germany reach its ambitious climate goals.
Thyssenkrupp AG’s Nucera subsidiary will build a production facility for green hydrogen in the state of Bahia together with Brazilian chemical company Unigel SA. Brazil’s largest producer of nitrogen is investing $120 million to build electrolysis capacity of several hundred megawatts.
“Only through industrial-scale production with robust, reliable and cost-effective technologies at competitive renewable energy prices will green hydrogen be market-ready for widespread use,” Nucera chief Werner Ponikwar said in a statement.
The green hydrogen and ammonia are set to be sold to steelmakers, refineries or used as synthetic fuel.
Separately, software giant SAP SE and the state-funded German Society for International Cooperation, or GIZ, plan to team up in Brazil to develop applications that make production of green hydrogen traceable through digital certificates.
Brazil has a renewable energy share in electricity generation of around 85%, which makes South America’s largest economy an attractive partner for Germany to pursue its ambitious climate goals. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany accelerated efforts to boost renewable energy to become less dependent on fossil fuel imports.
Habeck and Agriculture Minister Cem Oezdemir, who is also part of the trip to Belo Horizonte, Brasilia and Bogota, are trying to woo new trading partners and government officials during their visit.
They are being accompanied by a German business delegation that includes several medium-sized companies from sectors including mechanical engineering, solar technology, waste management and start-ups, in addition to German heavyweights like Thyssenkrupp, SAP and Volkswagen AG.
“We need to build a green bridge across the Atlantic,” Habeck said Monday at a German-Brazilian Business Days in Belo Horizonte and urged stronger cooperation.
Habeck told reporters he sees a “window of opportunity” for working on a free trade agreement with Brazil on European level, which was halted under former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. The new head of government, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has spoken out in favor of concluding it as quickly as possible.
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