Walmart Chile has opened what the company says is the first industrial green hydrogen plant in Latin America. The project was created in collaboration with energy producer Engie.
Investments of nearly $15 million enabled the design and construction of the plant. In the first phases of the project, the conventional lead-acid batteries of 200 forklifts will be replaced with hydrogen energy cells.
This step will not only increase operational efficiency, but also reduce toxic waste generation by 250 tons per year. By switching to hydrogen-powered forklifts, Walmart Chile also aims to save 1,140 t of CO₂ emissions annually.
The inauguration of the plant was, among others, attended by Chile's former President Michelle Bachelet, Finance Minister Mario Marcel and Energy Minister Diego Pardow. Also present were representatives from Engie Chile and Walmart Inc.
Chile wants to expand hydrogen exports
Cristián Barrientos, president and CEO of Walmart Chile, welcomed the initiative aimed at making the company more sustainable. He said the construction of the hydrogen production plant is only the first step of a comprehensive strategy. In the future, Walmart Chile intends to run its entire logistics network exclusively on hydrogen.
Chile has many renewable energy sources. Therefore, the country represents a suitable location for hydrogen production.
The National Strategy for Green Hydrogen aims to make Chile one of the world's leading exporters of green hydrogen and its derivatives by 2030. Hydrogen will be produced cost-effectively with the help of the country's renewable potential.