Porsche digs in with e-fuel
Building begins in Chile on visionary synth fuel programme
The joint project between Porsche and Siemens Energy to produce a carbon-neutral fuel took a major stride forward last week when building began on the Haru Oni industrial plant in Punta Arenas in Chile. A ceremony took place on 10 September in the presence of Chile’s Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet marking the start of this pioneering exercise that hopes to see around 130,000 litres of synthetic fuel produced next year, expanding to 55million litres in 2024 and 550 million litres in 2026.
The necessary environmental permits have now been obtained by the Chilean project company Highly Innovative Fuels (HIF) and Siemens Energy has also already started preparatory work for the next major commercial phase of the project.
“Porsche was founded with pioneering spirit. That’s what drives us, we thrive on innovation,” says Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche AG. “We also see ourselves as pioneers when it comes to renewable fuels, and we want to drive development forward. This fits in with our clear overall sustainability strategy. It means that Porsche as a whole can be net CO2 neutral as early as 2030. Fuels produced with renewable energy can make a contribution to this.”
The Haru Oni project takes advantage of the perfect climatic conditions for wind energy in Magallanes province in southern Chile to produce the virtually carbon-neutral fuel using low-cost green wind power. In the first step, electrolysers split water into oxygen and green hydrogen using wind power. CO2 is then filtered from the air and combined with the green hydrogen to produce synthetic methanol, which in turn is converted into eFuel.
“Our icon, the 911, is particularly suited to the use of eFuels,” continues Steiner. “But so are our much-loved historic vehicles, because around 70 per cent of all Porsche sports cars ever built are still on the road today. Our tests with renewable fuels are going very successfully. eFuels will make it possible to reduce fossil CO2 emissions in combustion engines by up to 90 per cent. Among other things, we’ll be using the first fuel from Chile in our Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup racing cars from 2022.”