Siemens Energy, together with Porsche and a lineup of international companies (the energy firm AME, the petroleum company ENAP from Chile and Italian energy company Enel), are 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).
They expect to produce around 130,000 liters of e-fuels in the pilot phase as early as 2022. In further phases they expect to increase capacity to about 55 million liters by 2024, and around 550 million liters by 2026. Porsche will be the primary customer for the green fuel.
This “Haru Oni” pilot project will take place in Chile because the geography of Chile has great potential to exploit wind energy and produce climate-neutral fuel with the aid of green wind power.
Green Hydrogen — a fuel made by electrolyzing water and the main ingredient for the production of e-fuels– requires a tremendous amount of power to produce. But siting hydrogen facilities at large highly effective wind farms, could give the fuel an edge.
“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” says Christian Bruch, CEO Siemens Energy. “And e-fuels are a worthwhile alternative if they’re produced in parts of the world where a surplus of sustainable energy is available, like in Chile with green wind power. 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” says Porsche CEO Oliver Blume.
Siemens Energy is a co-developer of the “Haru Oni” project and is serving as a systems integrator to cover the entire value chain – from power generation using Siemens Gamesa wind turbines, to producing green hydrogen, to conversion into synthetic fuel. The company’s flexible PEM (PEM = Proton Exchange Membrane) electrolysis is ideally suited for using volatile wind power.
As the fuel’s primary user, Porsche is planning as a first phase to use the e-fuels from Chile in beacon projects. Those include using the e-fuel in vehicles for Porsche motorsports, at the Porsche Experience Centers and perspectively also in serial production sports cars. The sports car maker will start with an initial investment of roughly 20 million euros.
AME is the primary developer and owner of the HIF (Highly Innovative Fuels) project company. Enel is a co-funder of the plant, with a focus on wind power and electrolysis. ENAP will support the project by providing operating staff and with maintenance and logistics.
Wind turbines stand past a hydrogen electrolysis plant in Mainz, Germany. Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg
Chile, with its excellent climate conditions for wind power and the associated low cost of electricity, has a very high potential in international terms for producing, exporting and locally using green hydrogen. To generate green hydrogen, electrolyzers use wind power to dissociate water into its two components, oxygen and hydrogen. In a second step, plans call for filtering CO2 out of the air and then combining it with the green hydrogen to form synthetic methanol. The result is renewable methanol, which can be converted into climate-friendly fuel using an MTG (Methanol To Gasoline) technology to be licensed and supported by ExxonMobil. More information about “Haru Oni” project at: www.siemens-energy.com/haru-oni