Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners has agreed to co-develop the 1.4GW HNH green hydrogen project in southern Chile after forming a joint venture with Austrian developers AustriaEnergy and Ökowind.

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The off-grid HNH project in the icy Magallanes region, which will be powered by a 1.7GW onshore wind farm, is an export-oriented green H2 and green ammonia project with an expected investment of more than $3bn.

Once operational, HNH will consist of the electrolysers, the wind farm, an ammonia plant and port facility, and is expected to produce one million tonnes of green ammonia per year – resulting in a substantial contribution to Chile’s ambition to be a global lead in green hydrogen/ammonia production.

“AustriaEnergy is proud to announce this important milestone for both the HNH Project as well as for the AustriaEnergy Group and Ökowind,” said Helmut Kanter, managing director of AustriaEnergy.

“The involvement of CIP will accelerate project development and bring its valuable expertise in financing industrial scale renewable projects.”

HNH is CIP’s first green hydrogen project in Chile, and will form part of its Energy Transition Fund that is focused on power-to-x and other next generation renewable technologies.

The Copenhagen-based energy-infrastructure financier, which is a major offshore wind developer, is already is engaged in other large green hydrogen initiatives, such as a plan for a 1GW electrolyser and adjacent green ammonia plant in the port of Esbjerg, Denmark.

“We believe that Chile has the potential to be a key global player in the production and export of green hydrogen and green ammonia, with the Magallanes region representing an excellent onshore wind resource,” said CIP partner Søren Toftgaard.

“Through the HNH Project and the partnership with AustriaEnergy and Ökowind, we look forward to producing green ammonia in Chile to support the global energy transition.”

Chile, which has extremely good wind conditions in the South and very high solar irradiation in the North, want to become a major player in the emerging global green hydrogen and green ammonia sector.

Converting green hydrogen into green ammonia has the advantage of easier transportability, but the use of green ammonia is very inefficient and expensive when used in power plants, and still rather pricey when used as a transport fuel, for example in shipping.

AustriaEnergy already develops PV plants and wind power in Chile, and has developed 1GW to date.