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    Corfo signs agreements to co-finance the first green hydrogen industrial projects in Chile


    May 26, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      The Production Development Corporation (Corfo) sealed a kick-off in the promotion of the so-called "fuel of the future". After six of the 12 proposals in the first call for proposals to develop green hydrogen production plants at industrial level in Chile were selected by the state agency in December, this Thursday the entity will sign the first agreements with three companies: Air Liquide, GNL Quintero and CAP.

      Specifically, the agreements are signed with the projects "Antofagasta Mining Energy Renewable (AMER)", in charge of Air Liquide, which is expected to produce 60 thousand tons per year of e-methanol from renewable energy, green hydrogen and CO2 captured from a fixed source. With an electrolyzer power of 80 MW, it will be installed in the Antofagasta Region and the amount awarded by Corfo will be US$ 11,786,582.

      "The objective of this call is fulfilled, consisting of being the initial kick-off to accelerate the development of the green hydrogen industry in Chile," said José Miguel Benavente.

      José Miguel Benavente, executive vice-president of Corfo. Photo: Veronica Ortiz

      In addition, "Hidrógeno Verde Bahía Quintero", led by GNL Quintero, contemplates the first large-scale green hydrogen plant in the Valparaíso Region. The project will have an installed electrolyzing capacity of 10 MW, which is expected to produce 430 tons of green hydrogen per year. The amount awarded by Corfo will be US$5,727,099.

      And the third one that will take the step is CAP that will develop its proposal "H2V CAP" that seeks to implement a green hydrogen plant for a power of 12 MW, for a production of up to 1,550 tons of green hydrogen per year.

      The other awarded proposals are still in process: "HyEx-Producción Hidrógeno Verde" (led by Engie), "HyPro Aconcagua" (submitted by Linde GmbH) and the "Proyecto Eólica Faro del Sur" (submitted by Enel Green Power Chile).

      The objective of the call was to select projects that would receive a contribution to investment in electrolyzers for the development of new green hydrogen initiatives in Chile, larger than 10 MW and whose commissioning is no later than December 2025.

      The selected proposals will attract investments of US$1,000 million and expect to produce more than 45 thousand tons of green hydrogen per year.

      For their development, they will receive a total contribution from Corfo of US$ 50 million. The financing contribution, according to the agency, is to be used in the purchase of electrolyzers and their auxiliary equipment. The total electrolyzer capacity of the six awarded projects is in the order of 388 MW, a size equivalent to what is currently in operation worldwide.

      The contribution will be against reimbursement, i.e., once the company demonstrates that the systems are operating and the technical milestones have been met and verified, Corfo will reimburse the purchase costs.

      Benavente analyzes the process and what lies ahead

      Corfo's executive vice-president, José Miguel Benavente, assured that "the objective of this call is being fulfilled, consisting of being the initial kick-off to accelerate the development of the green hydrogen industry in Chile, which will be key to advance towards carbon neutrality 2050".

      In his opinion, this first call "has been a success" in aspects such as accelerating the development of consortia, which are regionally distributed projects and "a balanced combination of developments for local demand and export, and finally a mix of national companies (CAP, GNL Quintero) and international companies with operations in Chile (Airliquide)".

      Regarding the reason for not stopping this call in the midst of the change of government, he commented that there is a transversal consensus on the opportunity to use the renewable energy potential that the country has.

      Although for now they are not considering a new call of this type, Benavente said that Corfo will promote a new industrial policy where green hydrogen will be the protagonist.

      "We seek that, along with responding to demands arising from major challenges, we generate more innovation and technology, new value offers from entrepreneurship or even new productive activities that allow us to move towards a more sustainable development model," he said.

      Companies: "It represents an important support from the State" (
      ).

      For GNL Quintero's Sustainable Development Manager, Alfonso Salinas, this agreement represents "an important endorsement by the State" of the project, together with being "proof of the positive fruits of public-private collaboration". "We seek to offer a clean and sustainable energy alternative to the energy matrix, contributing to the decarbonization process, and at the same time contributing to the environmental recovery of Quintero Bay," he said.
      The general manager of CAP, Julio Bertrand, said that they are committed to innovate in the development of a prototype H2 plant in Talcahuano in order to study the possibility of producing green steel by 2030. "All of the above always considering the development of our mining, steel and steel processing activities in the areas where our operations are located, thus generating economic and social development in these areas", he said.
      Meanwhile, the general manager of Air Liquide Chile, Alec Young, said that they are "proud to be part of this important project, which will place Chile at the regional forefront in the manufacture of renewable and clean fuels".

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