HIF Global secures $260 million in investments for clean fuel, partners with Porsche

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A logo of Porsche is seen outside a Porsche car dealer, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Brussels, Belgium May 28, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

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SANTIAGO, April 6 (Reuters) - Chilean energy company HIF Global said on Wednesday it had raised $260 million in capital to develop clean fuel from renewable energy, including an alliance with German automaker Porsche AG.

HIF Global is preparing a pilot e-fuel plant that uses wind power to produce green hydrogen. That hydrogen is then mixed with carbon dioxide, extracted from the air, in a "reactor" to produce green methanol.

The company says it hopes to produce the first liters of this e-fuel this year in Chile's southern region of Magallanes.

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"Our plan is to have worldwide plants operational by the end of 2025 in Chile and Texas, and later Australia," Cesar Norton, president of HIF Global, told reporters.

HIF plans to build the first commercial-scale e-fuels plant in the United States in 2023, followed quickly by similar facilities in Chile and Australia in 2024.

Porsche invested $75 million and will join HIF Global's board. Other investors include EIG, Baker Hughes Company and Gemstone Investments, with EIG also getting a seat on the board.

HIF said it was also researching how to produce a carbon-neutral equivalent of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) with green methanol.

The goal is to produce an environmentally friendly "gasoline" that could be used in conventional methods of transportation like cars, planes and ships without modifications, and thus contribute to decarbonization efforts.

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Report by Fabián Andrés Cambero, Writing by Alexander Villegas; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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