Walmart's First Green Hydrogen Plant in Latin America
In a remarkable display of commitment to renewable energy, Walmart Inc. CEO Doug McMillon graced the grand inauguration of a green hydrogen facility at the Quilicura Distribution Center in Santiago, Chile.
This notable step showcases Walmart's unwavering investment in sustainable practices, as the innovative plant, created in partnership with Engie, ushers in a new era of eco-friendly endeavours.
This pioneering endeavour stands as Latin America's inaugural venture of its kind, a milestone that stands poised to play a pivotal role in Walmart Chile's journey towards achieving net-zero emissions.
Barrientos expressed the company's enthusiasm, stating, "We recognise the immense potential in integrating this technology across our nationwide logistics network, aiming to have all distribution centres fully powered by green hydrogen by 2025. Our ambitions stretch further as we explore its applications in transport and emergency services, where pilot programmes are already operational."
The debut phase of the green hydrogen facility will facilitate the Quilicura Distribution Center's transition from lead-acid batteries to hydrogen energy cells for its 200 forklift cranes, curtailing 250 tonnes of hazardous waste annually. Over the project's 15-year span, Walmart anticipates a reduction of 17,100 tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to planting 34,200 trees.
McMillon reminisced on Walmart's initial adoption of hydrogen fuel in 2012, marking a journey from a fleet of 50 vehicles and forklifts in the U.S. to an impressive fleet of over 9,500 forklifts today. This trajectory empowers Walmart to enthusiastically tap into Chile's potential as a producer of clean energy, specifically green hydrogen.
Chile's boundless potential in renewable energy has been invigorated by the government's resolute commitment, driving the solar and wind sectors to quintuple their generation capacity in recent years.
With projections of up to 70% of the nation's electrical grid operating on renewables by 2030, Chile is poised to spearhead the development of a competitive green hydrogen industry while fostering a sustainable economy.
Walmart's strides towards climate goals have been notable and impactful, embracing renewable sources through self-generation and the procurement of certified renewable energy. Currently, 84% of Walmart Chile's energy consumption is sourced from clean energy, and their extensive network of over 390 facilities is on track to achieve the ambitious 100% renewable energy target well before the global aim for 2035.
McMillon encapsulated Walmart's ethos, stating, "We aspire to be a regenerative force, leaving a positive impact in our wake. Though the energy transition is a formidable challenge, collective efforts can steer us towards success."
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