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GNL Quintero and partners moving ahead with green hydrogen project

The backers of a green hydrogen project in Chile are said to have already arranged to sell more than half of their initial production.

According to a report from Argus Media, GNL Quintero, the operator of Chile’s Quintero LNG terminal, and its Spanish partners Enagas and Acciona Energía have signed preliminary off-take agreements with several customers. These agreements cover 70% of the hydrogen that the plant will produce in its first stage of operation, said an executive close to the project.

The source did not name any of the buyers, citing corporate confidentiality considerations.

GNL Quintero, Enagas and Acciona Energía unveiled plans to build a green hydrogen production facility at the Quintero LNG terminal last month. They have said they intend to spend about $30mn on the plant, which will turn out an initial 430 tonnes per year of green hydrogen, rising later to 640 tpy. Production is slated to begin in late 2024 or early 2025 and will be loaded onto tanker trucks for delivery to local consumers.

The facility will consist of a hydrolysis plant powered by 10 MW of Acciona Energía’s wind and solar generating capacity in Chile. It will receive electricity via Chile’s national transmission grid, Argus Media reported, citing an environmental application that the partners submitted last month. The partners are now waiting for the government to grant environmental authorisation for the project.

The first buyers of the green hydrogen are likely to be companies operating in the nearby Quintero-Puchuncaví industrial zone. The zone is home to the 104,000 barrel per day (bpd) Aconacagua refinery owned by Chile’s national oil company (NOC) ENAP, as well as a copper smelter owned by Chile’s national copper-mining concern Codelco, a coal-fired thermal power plant (TPP) owned by a subsidiary of US-based AES, and other industrial facilities.

Enagas and GNL Quintero are already closely affiliated. The Spanish company has a 45.4% stake in the LNG terminal operator.