Latin America gets first-of-its-kind green hydrogen plant, thanks to Walmart

Latin America gets first-of-its-kind green hydrogen plant, thanks to Walmart

August 18, 2023 0 By Erin Kilgore

The new H2 project will play a key role in Walmart Chile’s road to net-zero emissions.

As part of its continued commitment and investment in renewable energy, Walmart, in collaboration with generating company Engie, has opened a green hydrogen plant at the discount retailer’s Quilicura Distribution Center in Santiago, Chile.

The industrial use green H2 plant is a first in Latin America.

The industrial-scale and renewable green hydrogen plant will play a key role in Walmart’s global commitment to become a regenerative and net-zero emission company by 2040. The plant marks a $15 million investment in replacing lead-acid batteries.

During its first stage, the green hydrogen plant is expected to cut 250 tons of toxic waste annually, by enabling the Quilicura Distribution Center to remove lead-acid batteries from 200 forklifts and replace them with hydrogen energy cells.

Throughout the course of the 15-year project, Walmart expects to decrease the amount of carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere by 17,100 tons, which the company says is the equivalent of planting 34,200 trees.

The green hydrogen plant is an important part of Walmart and Chile’s clean energy goals.

“Walmart first embraced the potential in hydrogen fuel in 2012, with a fleet of 50 vehicles and forklifts in the U.S., which we have since grown to over 9,500 forklifts,” said Walmart Inc. CEO Doug McMillon. “Now, with over a decade of experience and progress, Walmart is well-positioned to invest in Chile’s potential as a producer of clean energy, including green hydrogen.

Green hydrogen plant - Walmart logo on store front

Credit: Photo by depositphotos.com

McMillion added in the recent Walmart news release announcing the green hydrogen plant, that Chile’s potential as a clean energy producer “is tremendous.” The CEO stated that due to the efforts the Chilean government has made in making renewable energy a priority, the country has a “unique opportunity to develop a competitive green hydrogen industry powered by low-cost renewable resources, while driving a sustainable economy around it.”

Clean power makes up over 80% of Walmart Chile’s energy consumption.

hydrogen news ebookCurrently, 84% of Walmart Chile’s consumption comes from clean power sources. Additionally, its more than 390 facilities are on track to reach the goal of operating with 100% renewable energy before its target of 2035.

According to Walmart Chile CEO Cristián Barrientos, Walmart sees “tremendous potential” for its business and is keen to grow the use of this technology to all distribution centers within the company’s logistic network throughout Chile, with the goal to operate 100% with green hydrogen by 2025.

“We are already exploring new uses in the area of transport and emergency services where we already have pilots in operation,” said Barrientos.

The grand opening for the green hydrogen plant in Chile was held last week.

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