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Porsche-backed Chilean firm looks to build clean fuel plant in Australia

·1-min read

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Chile's HIF Global, backed by German automaker Porsche, said on Friday it had applied to build a plant in Australia that could produce up to 100 million litres of carbon neutral fuel per year for cars, aiming to start construction in 2024.

The company is seeking environmental approval from the state of Tasmania to produce hydrogen fron renewable energy using 250 megawatts of electrolyser capacity and capture carbon dioxide from biogenic sources to produce a "highly competitive" e-fuel, or electricity-based fuel, HIF said.

E-fuels are carbon neutral fuels produced from renewable energy, green hydrogen and carbon dioxide taken from the atmosphere or a waste source and can be directly substituted for fossil fuels in conventional car engines.

"Australia has exceptional renewable energy resources that can be transformed into liquid fuels and used in existing engines," HIF Global President Cesar Norton said in a statement.

At full tilt, the output from the plant could decarbonise the equivalent of 52,000 cars, reducing carbon emissions by 260,000 tonnes a year, HIF Asia Pacific Chief Executive Officer Ignacio Hernandez said.

The Australian plant would mark the third production hub for HIF, which plans to build e-fuels plants in Chile and the United States starting in 2023.

Porsche Automobil earlier this year invested $75 million in HIF Global.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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