Supporting the low-carbon transition and industrial decarbonisation in Brazil

Macquarie Asset Management is developing a 456 MW wind project in the northeast of Brazil with partner company Norsk Hydro. The project will help decarbonise one of the world’s largest energy markets and produce lower carbon aluminium.

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Sector Energy
Sub-sector Onshore wind
Location Brazil


Macquarie Asset Management’s (MAM) specialist Green Investments team has been partnering with Norsk Hydro since 2017 to help it reach its emission reduction targets.

The Norwegian aluminium company has a target to reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 20301 and has been building out its global renewable energy business.

Macquarie initially partnered with Norsk Hydro to develop and structure power purchase agreements (PPAs) that have helped the heavy industry player reduce its carbon footprint. This partnership has enabled the development of 1.3­­ GW of renewable energy capacity.2

More recently, MAM has been working with Norsk Hydro’s renewables business, Hydro Rein, in Brazil. Norsk Hydro was seeking a source of long-term renewable energy, at a stable price in US dollars, to supply its industrial facilities, Alunorte and Paragominas, which mine and refine alumina for global export.

With Brazil’s abundance of renewable energy sources, including wind and solar, strong decarbonisation commitments and a maturing regulatory environment, the country is becoming an increasingly attractive market for renewable energy development.3


MAM has partnered with Hydro Rein and local developer Casa dos Ventos to develop, build and operate a 456 MW wind project in the northeast of Brazil. 

The Ventos de São Zacarias project combines MAM’s renewables development and financing expertise with Hydro Rein’s experience in the Brazilian energy market.

Alongside co-development, MAM structured long-term inflation-linked US dollar PPAs between the Alunorte and Paragominas facilities and the project.

One of the PPAs enables Alunorte to switch its boilers from coal-fired to electric. This includes the installation of three electrical boilers for steam generation, which together have the potential to reduce emissions at Alunorte by 400,000 tonnes by 2025.4 Additionally, the nature of the US dollar- and inflation-linked PPA reduces exposure to both Brazilian currency and inflation risks, which have historically been a key obstacle to international investment in the country.

This helped Ventos de São Zacarias become the first US dollar-backed project in the country to raise financing without the aid of a development bank.5 Instead, a consortium of seven private sector banks – JPMorgan, HSBC, Citibank, BNP Paribas, SocGen, Natixis and Santander – will provide $US290 million of debt.

To support the efficiency of the grid capacity secured by Ventos de São Zacarias, MAM and Hydro Rein, also have the option to develop up to 130 MW of solar power production in phase two. 


Ventos de São Zacarias demonstrates MAM’s ability to deliver solutions for its customers and help drive the energy transition in emerging markets.

Working together on this project, MAM and Hydro Rein are supporting decarbonisation efforts in Brazil, which is one of the world's largest consumers of energy,6 and helping provide low-carbon power to aluminium production.

Once operational, 75 per cent of the clean energy generated by the project will be supplied to Norsk Hydro’s bauxite mine, Paragominas, and its alumina refinery, Alunorte. The remaining energy will be sold on the open market, helping to reduce the emissions intensity of the local power grid.

In early construction, the project has supported more than 800 jobs, facilitated by the local contractor, Elecnor Brasil.7 While the project’s innovative financing structure will provide a template to help drive subsequent investment into Brazil’s burgeoning renewable energy industry.

1.3 GW

of renewables developed between Norsk Hydro and Macquarie8

456 MW

wind project to be developed in the northeast of Brazil

800+ jobs

supported in the early construction of Ventos de São Zacarias9

130 MW

option to develop solar project in phase two of the Ventos de São Zacarias project

Hydro Rein’s Brazilian energy market expertise and regional presence, combined with our global wind and infrastructure experience, make for a strong partnership that can provide a boost to Brazil’s supply chain and ambitions to engage with the global wind opportunity.”

Mark Dooley 
Global Head of MAM Green Investments
Macquarie Asset Management

  1. ‘Norsk Hydro: Hydro to produce first near-zero carbon aluminium in 2022’, Norsk Hydro, 13 December 2021
  2. Calculation based on combination of megawatts developed or being developed from joint projects: Markbygden Wind Farm (650 MW), Overturingen Wind Park (235 MW) and Ventos de Sao Zacarias (456 MW).
  3. ‘The green hidden gem – Brazil’s opportunity to become a sustainability powerhouse’, McKinsey & Company, 4 November 2022
  4. ‘Hydro: Annual Report 2022,’ Hydro
  5. ‘Macquarie, Hydro Rein take FID on Brazilian wind farm’, ReNews, 27 June 2023
  6. ‘International Energy Agency, Report: E4 Country Profile: Energy Efficiency in Brazil’, International Energy Agency, 12 February 2021
  7. Data as provided by Elecnor Brasil, August 2023.
  8. Calculation based on combination of megawatts developed or underdeveloped from joint projects: Markbygden Wind Farm (650MW), Overturingen Wind Park (235MW) and Ventos de Sao Zacarias (456MW)
  9. Data as provided by Elecnor Brasil, August 2023. 

Macquarie Asset Management FY23 Sustainability Report

At Macquarie Asset Management, we view sustainability as part of our fiduciary duty to protect and grow our clients’ assets. This focus also helps us generate positive outcomes for our investee companies and the communities they serve. Our latest Sustainability Report outlines the progress we have made over the past financial year.