Porsche announces new investment in eFuels project in Chile
German automaker Porsche is investing USD75 million in Highly Innovative Fuels Global (HIF Global), a manufacturer headquartered in the U.S. with operations in Chile. Porsche will acquire 12.5% of the Delaware-based holding company, which is developing the Haru Oni eFuels pilot plant in Punta Arenas, Chile.
Porsche is part of the Volkswagen Group which is composed of 10 brands from five European countries: Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, ŠKODA, SEAT, CUPRA, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Porsche and Ducati.
In 2020, Porsche announced a USD24 million investment in the pilot plant. Porsche’s new investment is part of a larger international financing round of USD260 million. Other investors include the Chilean company Andes Mining & Energy (AME) and American companies EIG, Baker Hughes and Gemstone Investments.
AME remains the majority shareholder of HIF Global LLC. The additional capital is to be used for the development of industrial eFuels plants in Chile, the United States in 2023, followed by similar facilities in Chile and Australia in 2024. There is a wide range of renewable energies available at these locations.
Initiated by Porsche and implemented with partners such as Siemens Energy and ExxonMobil, the production of eFuels produced with wind energy from hydrogen and CO2 is expected to start there from mid-2022. These synthetic fuels enable combustion engines to be operated in a potentially almost CO₂-neutral manner.
“eFuels make an important contribution to climate protection and complement our electromobility in a meaningful way. With the investment in industrial eFuels production, Porsche is further expanding its commitment to sustainable mobility. Overall, our investments in the development and provision of the innovative technology amount to more than USD100 million,” says Barbara Frenkel, board member for Procurement at Porsche AG.
“With its stake in HIF Global LLC, Porsche is investing in an attractive business area. The synthetic fuels are of interest across all transport sectors: for the automotive industry as well as for the aviation and shipping industries. In addition, eMethanol is an important raw material for other applications. For example in the chemical industry, where it can replace raw materials of fossil origin. eMethanol is an intermediate product that is produced when eFuels are produced,” says Michael Steiner, member of the Board of Management for Research and Development at Porsche AG.
Porsche has been researching the use of renewable fuels for a long time. The tests in the laboratory and on the race track are successful.
“We see ourselves as pioneers at eFuels and want to advance the technology. This is a component of our clear, comprehensive sustainability strategy,”says Michael Steiner, member of the Board of Management for Research and Development at Porsche AG.
The sports car manufacturer initially wants to use the eFuels from Chile in lighthouse projects in motorsport. It is also conceivable to use it in your own vehicles with combustion engines when you fill up for the first time at the factory and in the Porsche Experience Centers.
The transaction by Porsche to acquire the stake in HIF Global LLC is subject to the approval of the responsible antitrust authorities.