Faced with reports that Fortescue’s plans in Argentina would be relegated to other initiatives in Brazil, the firm clarified that from its regional office in Buenos Aires, FFI leads projects in Argentina (Pampas Project) and Brazil (Pecém), while evaluating new projects in other countries in the region. The company has been in our region since 2016, with investments in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, in addition to our country where it acquired the company Argentina Minera (AMINSA), in addition to having copper mining concessions in San Juan.
Fortescue announced in 2021 a disbursement of US$8.4 billion to produce green hydrogen, and the creation of 15,000 new direct jobs and between 40,000 and 50,000 indirect ones. With this initiative, it is expected that Río Negro will become a global exporter of green hydrogen, and that by 2050 it will have a production capacity of 2.2 million tons per year, which would cover an energy production equivalent to, for example, almost 10% of the electrical energy consumed by Germany in a year.
The Australian company recalled that after landing in the country, the development of the “Pampas Project” in the Province of Río Negro. The project is currently in a pre-feasibility stage, a phase in which environmental, social and engineering studies are carried out that will allow the configuration of the project and the wind farms, production plant and transmission lines in Patagonia. as far as he could tell Ambit, this task takes more than a year and is already underway, without stopping.
How is the green Hydrogen project in Río Negro
The prospecting that the company began is based on analyzing the quantity and quality of winds, the main energy source for production, and began from an agreement signed with the Ministry of Productive Development and the Nation and the Government of the Province of Río Negro .
Once it has been determined that the wind resource and others are satisfactory, public consultations and procedures for the construction of the project will begin, which will have three stages. The pilot stage, to confirm the planned capacities, with an estimated investment in US$1.2 billionwhich will produce some 35,000 tons of green hydrogen, equivalent energy to satisfy 250,000 homes, which will start in 2022 and end in 2024.
The first productive stage, with an estimated investment of US$7.2 billionwill produce some 215,000 tons of green hydrogen, equivalent energy capacity to cover the electricity consumption of 1.6 million homes, and will last until 2028.
To carry out the project, FFI will install three wind farms with a total power of 2,000 MW, which will be responsible for generating the energy for the production of green hydrogen.
What is needed to advance with the green Hydrogen project
What is needed is the new regulatory framework at the national level for hydrogen, which the Executive Power promised to send to Congress in the coming weeks, along with that for LNG. The province of Río Negro has already taken its steps and unanimously approved the installation of a green hydrogen plant and the Free Zone for the town of Sierra Grande. The concession would arrive at 625,000 hectares and is oriented to the location of wind farms and project constructions.
“The aforementioned works and studies will continue their course throughout 2023 but, in order to advance to the following stages of the project, it is key to have a regulatory framework that defines the bases for the development of this industry in Argentina,” Fortescue stated. after Clarín put its continuity in the country.
According to Fortescue managers, The national H2 law must contemplate specific aspects:
- access to financing at internationally competitive costs;
- free availability of foreign currency to pay debt and creditors abroad;
- a favorable tax regime;
- financial and fiscal stability;
- coexistence between the Hydrogen Promotion Law and Free Zones;
- expansion of the national electrical system.
“The regulatory framework is a fundamental step for the development of the green hydrogen industry in the country and to capitalize on the opportunities offered by the industry,” they affirmed.
Last year the Green Hydrogen Global Assembly and Exhibition 2022 was held in Barcelona and the governor of Río Negro was present there, Arabela Carreras, which will now host the event in Bariloche. “Based on these projects, Argentina and Río Negro will be able to become large providers of clean energy in accordance with the energy transition that is imposed in the world due to the consequences of climate change,” said the president.
Global Green Hydrogen Forum in Bariloche
As expected, Fortescue will participate in the Global Green Hydrogen Forum that will take place this Thursday and Friday in Bariloche. What’s more, he is one of the main promoters of the world meeting, which seeks to discuss with other key players the opportunities offered by green hydrogen and the key aspects to be developed to make this industry a reality in the country.
During the event, the great advances of the industry worldwide will be analyzed, the potential of Latin America as a scenario of opportunities to receive more and new investments, “and the projects proposed in the region and the rest of the globe,” it was clarified.
With this objective, the organization arranged different exchange spaces, distributed in the headquarters of the Hotel Llao Llao and the Camping Musical de Bariloche. There, the various exhibitions will allow to know the vision of the sector to promote the production of green hydrogen on a large scale; as well as the plans of the present and the challenges of the future, opportunities and the challenges to be solved.
The opening of the event, unprecedented in Latin America, will be in charge of Governor Arabela Carreas; and will have the participation of the CEO of YPF, Pablo Iuliano; the Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of the Nation, Daniel Filmus; and the Director of the Geocryology, Glaciology, Nivology and Climate Change Studies Office, Silvio Pastore.
Among the main speakers are also the director of Energy Policy for the Commission of the European Union, Cristina Lobillo Borrero; the Argentine Secretary of Energy, Flavia Royón; the President of the Green Hydrogyn Organization, Malcolm Turnbull; ambassadors, companies such as YPF, Shell, Toyota, Banco Patagonia, CAF, Genneia and Abo Wind.
Likewise, the participation of scientists, specialists and representatives of institutions and organizations linked to energy and climate change mitigation is expected.
The complete program of the Global Green Hydrogen Forum
According to the program, on Thursday 18 the “Perspective of green hydrogen: Latin America in the global context” will be discussed; the “Potential of green hydrogen in Latin America and the world”, the “Financing of the sustainable transition towards a green hydrogen economy”; the “International trade in green hydrogen: where it will be produced and where it will be used”.
Also, the “Legislation and contracts for green hydrogen”; the “Creation of a green hydrogen value chain: projects and challenges on the way to a sustainable green hydrogen economy”; the “Vision to 2030 of the development of the H2V value chain in Argentina within the energy transition.
On the same day, there will be a debate on “Germany as Argentina’s strategic partner for the development of a sustainable market for the production, use and export of hydrogen and its derivatives”; “Green hydrogen in the Argentine energy transition” and “Focus on the perspective of climate policy on green hydrogen”.
On Friday the 19th, the “Latin American and European leadership to enable the green hydrogen economy” will be analyzed and the “Presentation of the H2V mission of the European Union in Argentina: an opportunity to restructure our industry” will be held.
In addition, the “Green hydrogen standards: fit for purpose approach for Latin America” will be reviewed; the “Investment opportunities in Latin America” and the “Technological developments and value chain-downstream”.
Finally, “Towards a greener industry” will be discussed; “Focus on Argentina: taking advantage of the green hydrogen opportunity” and “Green hydrogen and entering the industry”.