Siemens Energy, joined by sports car maker Porsche and a line-up of international companies, is developing and implementing a pilot project in Chile that is expected to yield the world’s first integrated, commercial, industrial-scale plant for making synthetic climate-neutral fuels (e-fuels).
In the pilot phase, around 130,000 litres of e-fuels will be produced as early as 2022. In two further phases, capacity is then to be increased to about 55 million litres of e-fuels a year by 2024, and around 550 million litres of e-fuels by 2026.
The “Haru Oni” pilot project in Magallanes Province takes advantage of the excellent wind conditions in southern Chile to produce climate-neutral fuel with the aid of green wind power. As part of Germany’s national hydrogen strategy, to support the project Siemens Energy will get a grant of some 8 million euros from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the ministry has announced.
Christian Bruch, CEO of Siemens Energy, said: “Establishing a sustainable energy economy is going to require some rethinking. Renewable energy will no longer be produced only where it’s needed, but where natural resources like wind and sun are available on a massive scale. So new supply chains are going to arise all over the world to carry renewable energy from one region to another. That’s especially important for Germany, which – bottom-line – has to import energy if it’s going to meet its nationwide demand. Hydrogen will come to play an increasingly important role in storing and transporting energy. Which is why the German government’s support for the project is an important signal.”
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said: “Electromobility is a top priority at Porsche. E-fuels for cars are a worthwhile complement to that – if they’re produced in parts of the world where a surplus of sustainable energy is available. They are an additional element on the road to decarbonization. Their advantages lie in their ease of application: e-fuels can be used in combustion engines and plug-in hybrids and can make use of the existing network of filling stations. By using them, we can make a further contribution toward protecting the climate. As a maker of high-performance, efficient engines, we have broad technical expertise. We know exactly what fuel characteristics our engines need in order to operate with minimal impact on the climate. Our involvement in the world’s first commercial, integrated e-fuels plant supports the development of the alternative fuels of the future.”