The province of Tierra del Fuego is attempting to entice investment in hydrogen or ammonium, with a base case of US$6 billion in wind farms and electrolyzers.
The province government recently completed a pre-feasibility study and is currently working on environmental issues and infrastructure to help prepare the way for hydrogen projects, which are seen as critical to lowering heavy industries’ dependency on carbon, such as steelmaking. Some firms believe hydrogen fuel cells will be a better solution for powering trucks and ships than batteries.
Two foreign corporations have shown interest in generating hydrogen in Tierra del Fuego. TotalEnergies SE of France, for example, already produces natural gas in the country. MMEX Resources Corp of the United States, in collaboration with Siemens Energy AG of Germany, is the other.
Tierra del Fuego needs a new port in order to import and export wind turbines and fuel. Officials are counting on Mirgor SACIFIA, a corporation established in the province that wants to invest $200 million in the construction of a new facility.
According to the pre-feasibility research, transporting liquid hydrogen over vast distances is problematic. Wind-powered water electrolysis facilities in the province would most likely create ammonia, which is used to make fertilizers and plastics until the world finds a solution.
The economy of Tierra del Fuego is based on oil and gas exploration, tourism (due to its location as a gateway to Antarctica), and electronics assembly companies lured by specific tax advantages. Wind farms have already been established in other parts of Argentina along the Atlantic coast, and the provinces of Ro Negro and Buenos Aires are exploring into hydrogen projects.