Uruguay and Chile

Uruguay readying e-fuels project call terms

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, December 22, 2022

Uruguayan state hydrocarbons company Ancap said terms of a synthetic fuels call will be announced in February.

Officials are seeking expressions of interest from firms to produce, using carbon captured from biofuel subsidiary Alur’s Paysandú bioethanol plant, the likes of e-methanol and sustainable aviation fuel.

Ancap officials and energy minister Omar Paganini participated Thursday in an associated workshop, Ancap tweeted. Proposals are due by mid-year.

Project proposals must comprise green hydrogen production and carbon capture elements, officials have said previously. Obtaining carbon – a key component of some sustainable fuels – from biomass is typically cheaper than getting it using other methods.

Alur and Ancap are being advised by Belgian energy strategy consultancy Hinicio, which has offices in Latin America.

In related news, multilateral IDB published a report on Uruguay's potential in the green hydrogen sphere. A key finding is that the wind resource-rich country could produce green hydrogen at a cost of US$1.20-1.50/kg by 2030. Associated required outlay for the sector is some US$19bn. Uruguay is seen holding much potential as a producer of synthetic jet fuel.

The news comes as Chile cut the ribbon on pioneering e-gasoline pilot plant Hari Oni in windswept southern region Magallanes. The sustainable fuel is produced from e-methanol which, in turn, is made from green hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

ALSO READ Who's winning Latin America's green hydrogen race?
ALSO READ Uruguay’s green hydrogen push: The state of play

Supported by favorable investment environments, both Chile and Uruguay are among the Latin American countries most advanced along the green hydrogen highway. They are eyeing green hydrogen and its derivatives for domestic use and for export. 

A Porsche official attending the Haru Oni launch said electromobility was the carmaker’s chief priority but that e-fuels can play a major supporting role in decarbonizing the transport sector, given that, globally, the number of internal combustion engine vehicles will likely hold steady at over 1bn for at least the next decade.

ALSO READ Uruguay secures US$40mn IDB energy transition loan, US$150mn credit line
ALSO READ Hydrogen in LatAm: projects, data and stories

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