En Fast Forward Mining:

The Mining Industry Analyzes the Keys to Breakingthrough with Green Hydrogen

  • Cooperation and an appropriate regulatory framework are among the most critical issues to boost the green hydrogen development.

“The next step in the energy transition” was the name of the panel that addressed the role of mining in promoting decarbonization, and it particularly reviewed the state of progress of the so-called “fuel of the future”, namely green hydrogen. This took place within the framework of the Fast Forward Mining Summit organized by Fundación Chile to accelerate the industry’s Impact Agenda.

The event was attended by Massimo Tambosco, Head of New Energies at White Summit Capital; Marcelo Merli, Head of New Energy Business Consulting at Siemens Energy for Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay; Andrés Alonso, Water and Energy Resources Manager at Antofagasta Minerals; Janina Franco, Senior Energy Specialist at the World Bank, and it was moderated by Nicola Borregaard, EBP Manager and Director at Fundación Chile.

Marcelo Merli, Head of New Energy Business Consulting of Siemens Energy for Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, referred to the barriers to be overcome: “We believe that in the future, green hydrogen can generate a tremendous volume of business in the country, although we are aware that there are major challenges to tackle. We must generate lines of work to encourage demand; currently the projects that are maturing have to do with connecting supply with that need, and that is the way to bridge the gap”, he said.

“To achieve carbon neutrality, mining companies must play an active role. We believe that we not only have to wait for the technology to develop, but we have to promote it”, said Andrés Alonso, Water and Energy Resources Manager at Antofagasta Minerals.  According to Alonso, the company is focusing on extraction trucks (CAEX), “because 70% of emissions in our operations are diesel-related.”.

The panel agreed that collaborative work will be essential in accelerating results. We are trying to promote alliances with technology centers and universities, as well as with other mining companies to provide the momentum needed to achieve the emission reduction levels we have committed to,” said the Antofagasta Minerals executive.

Nicola Borregaard, EBP Manager and Director at Fundación Chile, agreed and pointed an additional challenge, “No company alone will be able to put together a significant green hydrogen project, alliances are essential; energy companies, together with technological, financial, and purchasing companies, among others. But it is not only collaboration, having a boosting regulatory framework is also key.”

Janina Franco, Senior Energy Specialist at the World Bank, referred to their work in this area, “The support we are providing with the Ministry of Energy is quite robust in terms of regulation. We are looking at how green hydrogen certificates can be developed. We are also looking at the use of economic instruments, such as using carbon tax incentives and seeing that they push the boundaries and start leveling up things with those who are consuming large amounts of diesel.”

In this regard, Massimo Tambosco commented on the role played by industry incentives in Europe, “We have several incentives. One is the European funds for post-pandemic economic recovery, which has focused a lot on energy transition. Another is the CO2 emissions tax. If we put a value like the one we have today in Europe of 50 to 60 euros per ton, green hydrogen would probably already be competitive for heavy mining transport compared to diesel,” he concluded.

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO OF THE PANEL:

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