Marcelo Schmitt, General Manager, STOLTHAVEN TERMINALS, BRAZIL
"Privatization or public/private partnerships are key to developing infrastructure, reducing logistics bottlenecks and increasing investment in innovation and digitalization."
To what extent has the price of oil in Brazil impacted Stolthaven Terminals’ business?
For Stolthaven Terminals in Brazil, because local prices of diesel and gasoline have been lower than the international price, it has led to customers not importing fuels, which has reduced trade volume.
Our experience handling a wide variety of products means we have been able to diversify to compensate for the lack of imported fuels. Due to the good work we do transporting ethanol and specialized chemical products, Stolthaven Terminals was able to set up short-term contracts for specialty chemicals, vegetable oils and biofuels exports, as it is a niche in which we are particularly strong.
Can you tell us about the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Stolthaven Terminals, Pecém Industrial and Port Complex to explore a green hydrogen export hub in Ceará?
Since 2021, we have been tracking the possibilities for Brazil to become one of the sourcing countries for green hydrogen. We approached the Pecém Port in Ceará as they were already advanced in green hydrogen, and it was a good fit as the Port of Rotterdam has 30% shares in the Port of Pecém. Pecém is an extremely business-friendly port, and they have a project to build an industrial zone for the production of green hydrogen. Ceará has tremendous renewable sources, such as solar and wind, to produce green electricity.
We have also signed NDAs with six potential energy companies for different stages of the project to produce green hydrogen by electrolysis and study the possibility to store and transport green ammonia with us. These companies are in the process of securing the water and electricity required with the plan to build electrolysis plants of different sizes over the next three to four years. They will produce the hydrogen then convert it to ammonia, as so far, green hydrogen is not viable for storage and shipping long distances. We are also working with the port to look at the possibility of developing a green terminal for storing the ammonia and transporting it from the port to its final destination, mostly Europe and North America. Stolthaven Terminals expects to be the first logistics company in Brazil to provide our customers with green hydrogen storage and shipping services.
Can you elaborate on Stolthaven Terminal’s latest sustainability initiatives at the Santos facility?
In addition to the green hydrogen project and storage in Santos of vegetable oils for biofuels, we have a new project with Linde, signed in July 2022, where we are starting a nitrogen pressure swing adsorption (NPSA) plant to produce nitrogen. Through this, we will reduce CO2 emissions as we do not need to truck nitrogen, and 100% of the nitrogen will be produced through green electricity sources. We are working on the electrification of all vehicles in the terminal and hope to have achieved this goal in two years’ time. Our electricity supply at Stolthaven Santos is 100% green, coming from only renewable sources since 2021.
Which investments do you think would make the most difference to reduce logistics bottlenecks in Latam?
Latin American countries need a more stable and solid regulatory ecosystem to eliminate uncertainty and increase capital investment. These investments must then be used for infrastructure upgrades such as ports, airports, railways and roads. There should also be more space for the private sector to invest. Privatization or public/private partnerships are key to developing infrastructure, reducing logistics bottlenecks and increasing investment in innovation and digitalization.