Porsche and Siemens Energy build CO2-neutral fuel facility in Chile


An industrial facility in Chile’s Punta Arenas region will produce almost CO2-neutral fuel (eFuel) in partnership with Porsche and Siemens Energy, as well as a number of other international firms.

On this historic day, Chile’s Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for this ground-breaking project. When it’s completed in 2022, the Chilean Patagonia pilot plant is planned to produce roughly 130,000 liters of electric fuel per year. Two stages of expansion are planned, with the first taking place in 2024 and the second in 2026, when the capacity will be roughly 55 million liters. Highly Innovative Fuels, the Chilean business working on the project, has now secured all essential environmental permissions (HIF). Siemens Energy has also begun work on the project’s next major commercial phase, which will begin in earnest in the near future.

“I’m pleased that we’re making progress on this international lighthouse project for the hydrogen economy together with strong international partners from business and politics,” said Armin Schnettler, EVP for New Energy Business at Siemens Energy. “With Haru Oni, we’re bringing our power-to-X technologies to the global market. We’re jointly developing and realizing the world’s first integrated and commercial large-scale plant for producing synthetic, climate-neutral fuels. In southern Chile, we’re implementing one of the energy industry’s most exciting projects for the future and driving forward the decarbonization of the mobility sector. It means we’re making an important and rapidly effective contribution to reducing CO₂-emissions in the traffic and transport sector.”

The sports car manufacturer Porsche initiated the demonstration project and will be using the eFuels in its own combustion engine vehicles. Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche AG, said: “Porsche was founded with pioneering spirit. That’s what drives us, we thrive on innovation. We also see ourselves as pioneers when it comes to renewable fuels, and we want to drive development forward. This fits in with our clear overall sustainability strategy. It means that Porsche as a whole can be net CO2-neutral as early as 2030. Fuels produced with renewable energy can make a contribution to this. Our icon, the 911, is particularly suitable for the use of eFuels. But so are our much-loved historic vehicles, because around 70 percent of all Porsches ever built are still on the road today. Our tests with renewable fuels are going very successfully. eFuels will make it possible to reduce fossil CO₂-emissions in combustion engines by up to 90 percent. Among other things, we’ll be using the first fuel from Chile in our Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race cars from 2022.”

As part of its National Green Hydrogen Strategy, Chile has set itself some lofty goals. It aims to have a 5 GW electrolyser capacity by 2025, and a 25 GW electrolyser capacity by 2030. The goal is to make green hydrogen and derivatives the cheapest in the world while also making the country a major exporter of them.

The Haru Oni project uses low-cost green wind power to produce essentially CO2-neutral gasoline in southern Chile’s Magallanes province due to ideal meteorological conditions for wind energy. Wind-powered electrolysers split water in the first stage into oxygen and green hydrogen. To make eFuel, CO2 is first removed from the air and then mixed with green hydrogen to create synthetic methanol. Midway through 2022, the pilot plant will be able to start putting out product. The Haru Oni project includes Siemens Energy, Porsche, HIF, ExxonMobil, Gasco, and ENAP in addition to these three companies.

Anela Dokso

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