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Construction start for Haru Oni Punta Arenas pilot

Construction start for Haru Oni Punta Arenas pilot
Construction has started for the Haru Oni power-to-liquids (PtL) pilot plant in Punta Arenas, Region de Magallanes Region, Chile (image courtesy Porsche).

In Chile, Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet has officiated at a groundbreaking ceremony marking the start of the construction of Haru Oni - an industrial plant for the production of an almost carbon-neutral electro-fuel (eFuel) in Punta Arenas.

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The project is being developed by Highly Innovative Fuels (HIF), an international electro-fuels (eFuel) company based in Chile, with the participation of Germany-headed sports automaker Porsche AG together with compatriot Siemens Energy along with Enel, ExxonMobil, Gasco and ENAP.

A pilot plant is initially being built north of Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia, which is expected to produce around 130 000 litres of eFuels in 2022.

The capacity will then be expanded in two stages to around 55 million litres by 2024, and around 550 million litres by 2026.

The necessary environmental permits have now been obtained by HIF.

Beacon project for the hydrogen economy

Siemens Energy has also already started preparatory work for the next major commercial phase of the project.

I’m pleased that we’re making progress on this international beacon 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 technology to the global market. We’re jointly developing and realizing the world’s first integrated and commercial large-scale plant for producing synthetic, carbon-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, Armin Schnettler said.

Porsche initiated the demonstration project and will be using the eFuels in its own combustion engine vehicles.

Porsche was founded with a 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, said Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche AG.

Our icon, the 911, is particularly suited to the use of eFuels. But so are our much-loved historic vehicles, because around 70 percent of all Porsche sports cars 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 racing cars from 2022, Michael Steiner said.

Ambitious national hydrogen targets

Chile has set itself ambitious targets as part of its National Green Hydrogen Strategy. It plans an electrolyser capacity of 5 GW by 2025, rising to 25 GW by 2030.

The aim is to produce the world’s cheapest hydrogen and develop the country into a leading exporter of green hydrogen and its derivatives.

The Haru Oni project takes advantage of the perfect climatic conditions for wind energy in Magallanes province in southern Chile to produce virtually carbon-neutral fuel using low-cost green wind power.

In the first step, electrolysers split water into oxygen and green hydrogen using wind power. The carbon dioxide (CO2) is then filtered from the air using direct air capture (DAC), and combined with the green hydrogen to produce synthetic methanol, which in turn is converted into eFuel.

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