Oil Companies and Major Utilities Mulling Purchase of 1.4GW Green Hydrogen Project in Chile

RECHARGE

22 April 2021

By Leigh Collins


The $3bn HNH facility — to be powered by at least 1.8GW of onshore wind — will generate up to one million tonnes of green ammonia per year and feature its own international port


Oil companies and major utilities are mulling the purchase of a $3bn green ammonia project in southern Chile that would be powered by 1.8-2GW of onshore wind and a 1.4GW electrolyser, the lead developer tells Recharge.


The off-grid HNH project — named for the chemical symbols of hydrogen (H2) and ammonia (NH3) — aims to export up to a million tonnes of green ammonia a year via a new purpose-built port by 2026.


The zero-carbon fuel — produced by combining green hydrogen and nitrogen in the air via the well-established Haber-Bosch process — would then be used to produce fertiliser, to power ships or possibly as a replacement for coal at existing power plants (see panel, below).


Austrian co-developers AustriaEnergy and Ökowind EEhad initially been open to exporting liquid hydrogen from the project, but found there was no demand for the substance.


“Based on the conversations we have ongoing with possible off-takers, it looks like there is more interest for ammonia, based on the fact that for ammonia, there’s an existing worldwide logistics system available,” says Helmut Kantner, managing director and founder of AustriaEnergy. “We don’t believe [comparable] hydrogen logistics will exist in the near future.”


He tells Recharge that the co-developers have signed a letter of intent with an off-taker, but would not divulge which company that might be, merely saying that interested parties consisted of oil groups, utilities and chemicals companies.


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