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Porsche investing US$75M in HIF Global to boost eFuels

Porsche investing US$75M in HIF Global to boost eFuels
Porsche joins an international financing round of HIF Global LLC alongside the Chilean company Andes Mining & Energy (AME) and the American companies EIG, Baker Hughes Company, and Gemstone Investments (photo courtesy Porsche).

Germany-headed sports automaker Porsche AG has announced that it is investing US$75 million in Highly Innovative Fuels (HIF) Global LLC, a holding company of internationally active project developers of electro-fuel (eFuel) production facilities.

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Among other projects, the Santiago de Chile-based company is building the Haru Oni eFuel pilot plant in Punta Arenas, Chile.

Initiated by Porsche and implemented with partners including Siemens Energy and ExxonMobil, the production of eFuels from hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) using wind power and direct air capture (DAC) is expected to start in mid-2022.

These electricity-based synthetic fuels allow combustion engines to be operated in a potentially almost CO2-neutral manner.

eFuels make an important contribution to climate protection and complement our electromobility in a meaningful way. By investing in industrial eFuel production, Porsche is further expanding its commitment to sustainable mobility. In total, our investment in the development and provision of this innovative technology amounts to more than US$100 million, said Barbara Frenkel, Member of the Executive Board for Procurement at Porsche.

International financing round

Construction of the Haru Oni pilot power-to-liquids (PtL) plant in Punta Arenas, Chile is well underway with the first electro-fuel (eFuel) production expected later in 2022 (photo courtesy Porsche).

With its investment in HIF Global Porsche is participating in an international financing round alongside the Chilean company Andes Mining & Energy (AME) and the American companies EIG, Baker Hughes Company, and Gemstone Investments.

In total, an amount in the low nine-figure US$ range is flowing into HIF Global of which AME remains the majority shareholder.

The additional capital will be used to develop industrial eFuel facilities in Chile, the United States (US), and Australia, which have large supplies of renewable energy.

Porsche is investing in an attractive business area with its stake in HIF Global LLC. Synthetic fuels offer attractive prospects across transportation sectors, from the automotive industry to the aviation and shipping sectors. In addition, eMethanol is an important raw material for other applications, such as in the chemical industry, where it can replace raw materials of fossil origin. eMethanol is an intermediate product that is produced during the generation of eFuel, explained Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for R&D at Porsche.

Porsche has been researching the use of renewable fuels for some time. Tests in the laboratory and on the race track are proceeding successfully.

We see ourselves as pioneers in eFuels and want to drive the technology. This is one building block in our clear, overall sustainability strategy, said Michael Steiner.

The sports car manufacturer initially plans to use the eFuel from Chile in motorsport flagship projects.

In the future, it is also conceivable that they will be used to fuel the company’s own vehicles with combustion engines during initial fuelling at the assembly plant, and at Porsche Experience Centers.

Porsche’s transaction to acquire a stake in HIF Global is subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities.

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