HIF Global selects Johnson Matthey’s methanol technology for the largest e-methanol plant in South America

  • JM’s eMERALD™ technology selected for HIF Global’s Paysandú eFuels facility which will support the decarbonisation of the marine and automotive sectors. 
  • Located in Uruguay, it would be the largest e-methanol plant in South America with an expected production capacity of 700,000 tonnes per year of e-methanol.  
  • This project will be the 11th sustainable technologies project win using JM’s sustainable technologies since April 2022. 

Johnson Matthey (JM), a global leader in sustainable technologies, has been selected by HIF Global, the world’s leading eFuels company, as the methanol licensor for HIF Global’s Paysandú eFuels project in Uruguay. The facility would be the largest e-methanol plant in South America and will use electrolytic (green) hydrogen and waste CO2 from an ethanol plant to produce e-methanol. E-methanol, through use of renewable feedstocks, enables the production of a lower carbon fuel versus traditional methanol1
JM’s e-methanol eMERALD technology has been proven as a credible route to decarbonise methanol production1 and this technology will be deployed at the HIF Paysandú eFuels facility, with expected production capacity of 700,000 tonnes per year of e-methanol. The e-methanol will be utilised to support the rapidly growing demand from the marine market, as well as a feedstock to produce e-gasoline (via a methanol to gasoline process) which will facilitate the decarbonisation of over 150,000 vehicles.  
This collaboration builds on the successful demonstration of the eMERALD technology in the HIF Haru Oni eFuels facility, where JM licenses its technology and supplies the catalyst. The demo plant has successfully operated for over 12 months, producing methanol that is further processed into gasoline.  
Additionally, HIF Global has announced other planned eFuels projects to be built in the US, Tasmania, and Chile. JM is already working with HIF Global to support the development of these projects.  
HIF Global will invest $4 billion in the facility, making it the most significant investment in Uruguay’s history. Construction of the plant is planned for 2025 and is expected to create approximately 1,500 jobs during construction with an additional 300 permanent operational positions. 
Alberto Giovanzana, Managing Director – CT Licensing at Johnson Matthey, said: “The market for sustainable methanol fuels is growing rapidly and presents an important solution to decarbonise the shipping, road transport, and other industries. As the world’s leading methanol synthesis technology and catalyst supplier, JM has a great wealth of experience working in the methanol industry. We look forward to continuing our partnership with HIF to provide our e-methanol technology for this exciting project.”  
Victor Turpaud, CEO HIF Latam, said: “eFuels are a replacement for fossil fuels and are a necessary solution for decarbonising global transport. We have already demonstrated the capability to produce eFuels with green hydrogen and recycled CO2, using Johnson Matthey's technology at our Haru Oni eFuels facility in southern Chile. Expanding our collaboration with Johnson Matthey represents the importance of long-term relationships to HIF and to achieve our common goals”. 


[1] Methanol technology Life Cycle Assessment | Johnson Matthey

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