Uruguay plans 2023 hydrogen and wind tender rounds

Ancap, the state-owned oil and gas company of Uruguay, is getting ready to launch a series of offshore green hydrogen and wind tender rounds in 2023.

Ancap’s ambitious ambition to build a maritime hydrogen production hub driven by its large offshore wind potential calls for businesses with experience in offshore wind, hydrogen, or deepwater oil and gas.

Juan Tomasini, the company’s E&P chief, stated that rolling applications will be used for the tender rounds, which will open offers in two stages in May and November of the following year.

The state-owned company has written a draft of the tender’s terms as a result of discussions with the private sector, but approval by the ministry of industry, energy, and mining is still pending, the official said.

According to the source, the tender would initially offer 10 blocks of 500 km2 each, each of which has the potential to install 2-3 GW of wind power and produce 320,000 t/y of green hydrogen.

The business will be based on contracts for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons. The successful bidders will have ten years to investigate, evaluate, and undertake testing in the area. They can then either provide a comprehensive development plan or surrender the land.

Offshore hydrogen production avoids many of the barriers that the developing sector faces, such as community opposition (projects often cover huge land areas and require access to the coast) and the requirement for extensive port infrastructure. It is more expensive and technically difficult, though.

Along with 30GW on land, Uruguay is thought to have a 250GW offshore wind potential. A tender for an onshore green hydrogen pilot project is also being prepared by the nation for later this year.