Siemens, Porsche join for world’s first climate neutral e-fuel plant

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The German multinational firm Siemens Energy has partnered with automobile manufacturer Porsche and other international companies to develop the world’s first integrated, commercial, industrial-scale plant for making synthetic climate-neutral fuels (e-fuels).

The “Haru Oni” also known as HIF (Highly Innovative Fuels) project takes the benefit of the best wind conditions in southern Chile to produce climate-neutral fuel with the help of green power. In the first phase, the developers expect to produce about 130,000 liters of e-fuels by 2022 and then to increase the capacity to 55 million by 2024 and 550 million by 2026. 

In line with Germany’s national hydrogen strategy, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will give Siemens a grant of about $9.69 million to support the HIF project.

The sports car makers Porsche will be the primary customer for the green fuel. Other partners in the project are the Chinese energy firm AME and the petroleum company ENAP from Chile and the Italian energy company Enel. 

Christian Bruch
Christian Bruch
CEO – Siemens Energy

“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. Hydrogen will come to play an increasingly important role in storing and transporting energy. This is why the German government’s support for the project is an important signal.”  

Being the major customer of e-fuel, Porsche is planning to test it from Chile in beacon projects which includes using the energy in vehicles for Porsche motorsports, at the Porsche Experience Centers and prospectively also in serial production sports cars. The automobile makers will make an initial investment of about $24.2 million in the project.

AME is the primary developer and owner of the HIF project company. Enel is a co-founder of the plant, which serves in wind power and electrolysis. ENAP will aid in providing operating staff and in maintenance and logistics.

 Commenting on this pilot venture the CEO of Porsche Oliver Blume stated that, “electromobility is a top priority at Porsche. E-fuels for cars is a worthwhile complement to that, if they are produced in parts of the world where a surplus of sustainable energy is available. They are an additional element on the road to decarbonization. Our involvement in the world’s first commercial, integrated e-fuels plant supports the development of the alternative fuels of the future.”

Siemens Energy is a co-developer of the project and it delivers systems integrators to cover the entire value chain from power generation using Siemens Gamesa wind turbines, to produce green hydrogen, to conversion into synthetic fuel.

Chile, with its excellent climate conditions for wind power and low cost of electricity, has a very high potential in international terms for producing, exporting and using green hydrogen locally.