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Southern Cone hydrogen watch: Chile-Hamburg MOU, Acciona warning, Uruguay call

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, August 25, 2022
Southern Cone hydrogen watch: Chile-Hamburg MOU, Acciona warning, Uruguay call

German city Hamburg signed an MOU with Chile (pictured), geared to jointly driving forward green hydrogen exports to Europe.

Chile is eyeing both Europe and Asia as target markets for future production of green hydrogen and its derivatives. Chile has already signed similar agreements with Rotterdam port in Holland and Antwerp port in Belgium. 

Chile’s production will initially serve the domestic market, the energy ministry said in a statement, with a second phase involving ramping up installed capacity to build an export industry. 

The country's goal is to install 25GW of electrolysis capacity by 2030 and become a low-cost green hydrogen heavyweight.

A pilot e-fuels plant, Haru Oni, is under construction. The country has a portfolio of projects of different sizes, including one with 10GW of electrolysis capacity, the first phase of which is due to enter service in 2026. 

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Power sector firm Acciona Energía Chile said a US$30mn green hydrogen project planned for port town Quintero was at risk because of a lack of demand, local paper Diario Financiero reported.

The project, Hidrógeno Verde Bahía Quintero, involves a 10MW electrolyzer, with estimated output of 430t/y. The project was awarded a US$5.7mn subsidy by State development agency Corfo.

Acciona is the power supply partner in the project, being led by LNG player GNL Quintero

Chile has a green hydrogen strategy in place and an associated roadmap is expected to be ready by early 2023. 

ALSO READ Green hydrogen: Chile energy minister outlines role of State

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A Uruguayan call for production-focused green hydrogen R&D projects has advanced.

Officials have selected nine proposals, spanning the areas of transport, forestry transport, piped-gas supply, hydrogenation of vegetable oils, and green ammonia and fertilizer production.

Parties now have until 17 November to present their full projects, the industry, energy and mining ministry said in a statement. 

The government has established a US$10mn project funding pot, which would be delivered as a grant and disbursed over 10 years.

Projects must involve electrolyzers of over 1.5MW in capacity and be in operation before 2025, with priority given to those with the earliest commissioning dates.

The selected parties are Ingener; Kahirós; Compañía Sudamericana de Empresas Eléctricas, Mecánicas y de Obras Públicas; MontevideoGas; and Linde.

The process is being led by national research and innovation agency ANII, national technology laboratory Latu and the industry, energy and mining ministry. 

Elsewhere on the green hydrogen promotion map, authorities have previously said bidding processes would be launched for onshore and offshore green hydrogen production projects, designed to woo private investment. Uruguay is eyeing both the domestic and export markets.

In related news, government officials recently met with the Hamburg delegation. Uruguayan industry, energy and mining minister Omar Paganini said the country was heavily focused on exports to Europe and that the goal was that, by 2026-27, at least one medium-scale production facility is operational. 

Uruguay has produced a green hydrogen roadmap.

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