Porsche has announced the construction of a new facility dedicated to producing synthetic fuels that are compatible with today’s ICE vehicles. The plant is set to open in Magallanes, Chile in the middle of 2022 and Porsche expect it to produce 130,000 liters of synthetic fuel in the same year. After this, production will ramp up to deliver around 55 million liters of synthetic fuel by 2024, extending to 550 million liters before 2026.
The key to producing this new fuel is wind power. The plant’s Southern Chilean location provides the optimal weather conditions for the process, which sees wind power used by electrolysers to split water into oxygen and green hydrogen. Carbon dioxide is then filtered from the air and combined with this green hydrogen to develop synthetic methanol, which is converted to synthetic fuel.
The plant also forms an important part of the Haru Oni project co-developed by Porsche alongside a variety of international energy companies, including Siemens Energy, Enel, ExxonMobil and Empresas Gasco, as well as Chile’s state-owned ENAP. The project is powered by 3.4MW wind turbines and is expected to produce 350 tons of crude methanol, 130,000 liters of gasoline and 16 tons of carbon-neutral liquified gas from 2022. The synthetic fuels produced at the plant are expected to work towards accelerating the achievement of Porsche’s sustainability goals. Due to their makeup of 8 to 10 components, and their lack of byproducts, compared to the 30 to 40 seen in conventional fuel, Porsche estimates that synthetic fuel could enable it to achieve carbon neutrality as early as 2030. While it has not yet confirmed a date as to when, or how, consumers will be able to access the synthetic fuels made at its new factory, it did announce that the first use of the fuel would be in its Mobil 1 Supercup racing cars from next year.