Atome Energy to begin work on first Paraguay hydrogen project in Villeta

“With the PPA now executed, the next steps of the project comprise the execution of the planning, engineering, procurement, logistics, build out and commissioning stages,” Atome said


Atome Energy PLC said it will now be able to “move expeditiously” towards the pre-construction phase of its green hydrogen and ammonia production plans in Villeta, Paraguay after securing a power purchase agreement (PPA).

The 60MW agreement gives the project 100% renewable power immediately from the state power company Ande, with no need to add new infrastructure and no consideration payable in relation to access the power.

Power from the local substation will be priced on the lowest industrial standard tariff, which Atome said would enable it to be cost competitive in the international as well as domestic market place.

“With the PPA now executed, the next steps of the project comprise the execution of the planning, engineering, procurement, logistics, build out and commissioning stages,” Atome said.

The company said it intends to appoint independent and experienced third-party owner’s engineers soon, to manage and value engineer the project through to commissioning and oversee the various contractors involved to deliver the facility on time and budget.

Once third-party engineers are appointed it intends to quickly move to front-end engineering design (FEED) work, including procurement and selecting off-takers.

Atome said it expects to made a final investment decision in the second half of 2022, with the objective of the facility beginning production at Villeta within three years from now.

The location of Villeta was stressed by the company, as not only the main export port in Paraguay, enabling sales domestically and overseas, but also the home of many key industries including fertiliser and cement companies “which are Atome’s natural off-take partners”.

With a facility in Villeta potentially producing up to 55,000 tons of green ammonia per year, the company said it has already been contacted by a number of potential off-take partners.

Chief executive Olivier Mussat, said: “We are excited to be moving ahead of the already aggressive targets we had set ourselves when we listed Atome in December 2021.

“Executing our first major large scale power purchase agreement now comes at the right time in light of the urgency to increase the supply of fertilisers, prices for which have nearly quintupled over the past two years, with ammonia prices now over $1,500/MT.

“As we continue to develop our 250MW+ projects in Paraguay, the opportunity to interpose and add 60MW now with this new site in Villeta is very attractive. In itself, this facility would be of world scale in its own right. Villeta with the readily available renewable power is a perfect site to fast track Atome’s first project as it is very convenient for all types of potential off-taker. At 60MW Villeta is also right-sized, enabling us to build our facilities rapidly, with minimal infrastructure build out and opens the opportunity to supply both the domestic and export markets.”

Mussat said work on the company’s Iceland projects was continuing “with discussions ongoing with power suppliers, government representatives and potential stakeholders”.

He also noted the “assistance and understanding” of Ande and the Paraguayan government.

Source: By Oliver Haill |

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