Airport operator Nuevo Pudahuel has taken the first step to adopt green hydrogen as a fuel for operations at Merino Benítez International Airport (Santiago International Airport) in Chile.

The concessionaire signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Air Liquide, Copec and Colbún to work towards adding the carbon-free fuel into the airport’s operations.

According to the agreement, Air Liquide will work with Nuevo Pudahuel to lead the development of the study. The company will also leverage its technical expertise to build and operate an electrolyser for green hydrogen production and the associated hydrogen supply chain.

Colbún will share its experience in renewable energies, while service station operator Copec will offer support with fuel storage and supply systems.

Copec will also help to determine the demand for hydrogen for the initiative.

Nuevo Pudahuel general manager Xavier Lortat-Jacob said: “As a concessionaire, we have a commitment to the State of Chile. We recently delivered a new terminal, which considerably increases the quality and areas for international flights. We are promoting its use with new routes and new airlines, but we need to do it making sure we grow while acting for the care of the environment.

“We do it by using this clean energy, in the development of which our key shareholders have been pioneers. Green hydrogen will allow us to support the growth of air transport in harmony with the environment.”

The adoption of green hydrogen for operations is expected to support Santiago Airport’s plans to trim greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and go carbon neutral by 2050.

Nuevo Pudahuel is a consortium formed by Groupe ADP (45%), VINCI Airports (40%) and Astaldi Concessioni (15%).

It won a 20-year management contract for Santiago International Airport in 2015.