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ENAEX & ENGIE: On the path to a smooth zero carbon transition in the Chilean Mining Sector.

ENAEX and ENGIE have recently signed a strategic partnership to carry out a feasibility study of a pilot plant that is expected to be finalized at the end of the year. The project consists in the design, construction and operation of a green ammonia production complex based on renewable hydrogen. ENAEX is the Latin-American most important rock fragmentation service supplier as well as one of the largest producers of ammonium nitrate (AN), an essential chemical used in the blasting process in the mining industry. 

Thanks to this collaborative initiative, ENAEX will be able to offer a green blasting alternative to the mining industry, globally. Compared with the traditional gas-based production of Ammonia, the new process would reduce the yearly emission of CO2 in more than 600.000 tons. Furthermore, this will give Chile another opportunity to make green ammonia available for other uses, such as fertilizers or the export of renewable energy using this product as a transport vector.

Together with ENGIE, ENAEX is on the path to decarbonizing its production. To achieve this, both partners have pledged to capitalize on the abundant solar energy and sea water available in northern Chile. The concept will be to produce renewable hydrogen based on zero-carbon solar electricity, that will feed a new ammonia production plant. This green ammonia will feed the existing ammonium nitrate (AN) production plant, Prillex, owned and operated by ENAEX and located in Mejillones, Northern Chile.

The ENGIE and ENAEX partnership confirms the demand for decarbonizing the mining industry as a whole and confirms both companies’ sustainable approach to this sector. 

Thanks to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), stemming from the Kyoto Protocol in 2005, ENAEX has progressively and constantly been reducing its carbon footprint. In Chile, ENAEX is recognized as a leading company in climate change management.  

“The mining sector is facing tough challenges that must be addressed in a timely manner by integrating new technologies. More than ever, mining companies and their suppliers need to join forces to ensure the sustainability of the industry. We are convinced that we have an unique opportunity considering that our country does not have gas reserves, but we do have the best solar resource in the world and an existing demand market for ammonia,” said Juan Andrés Errázuriz, of ENAEX 

Michèle Azalbert from ENGIE confirmed: “We are very proud to partner with ENAEX. We fully share their vision of making the mining environment greener. This project clearly shows renewable Hydrogen is already now an enabler delivering a zero-carbon transition in the mining industry. We accompany our clients at every stage in their journey to decarbonization. We design, build and deliver turnkey solutions that address the industries challenges. Our work with ENAEX is a clear example of what we can do, just as our ongoing projects in the Netherlands and in Australia. At ENGIE, we strive to enable a substantial energy transition through affordable Hydrogen solutions, powered by renewables and at large scale.”

Frank Demaille CEO ENGIE Latin America iterates: “We are convinced that hydrogen is one of the key elements for the development of the full potential of renewable energy and carbon-free energy solutions. Such alternatives will support the transformation process that we have started as a country and where ENGIE has made firm commitments with the government.”