The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) (the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean) and the CRUSA Foundation (a non-profit based in San José) is going to study green hydrogen market to explore opportunities for Costa Rica. Both organisations are working under the request of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae).
H2 Bulletin covered previously that the Costa Rican government has shown keen interest in exploring the hydrogen economy. Hydrogen as a fuel has been becoming quite a hot topic in Central and South America. Costa Rica wants to better understand its competitiveness in the context of the global hydrogen industry and trying to explore opportunities across various segments. Like many other Central and South American countries, it also wants to examine the potential for developing hydrogen business for targeting the export market.
The feasibility study will be conducted by Belgian energy and sustainable transport company and will be completed by the second half of this year.
Recently, the Costa Rican Petroleum Refinery (Recope), which is a state-owned oil company, has recently requested a tender for US$ 980,000 (around ₡ 600 million) for the procurement of a vehicle hydrogen recharge unit. Although the company is not legally allowed to market hydrogen or any other alternative fuel, it can only acquire the equipment to understand hydrogen technology.
In the past, Recope also conducted some preliminary work of exploring the hydrogen by visiting universities and other entities including NASA, to understand the hydrogen production process and its applications.
Javier Bonilla Herrera, the Vice-president of the Costa Rican Hydrogen Association (ACH2) told H2 Bulletin “In my opinion, the green hydrogen economy in Costa Rica has taken the first step now, but foreign support will be critical for the success of this initiative.” He pointed out that the Costarican Hydrogen Association, the Alliance for Hydrogen and the Ministery of Environment and Energy and other national organisations are working together to develop the hydrogen industry base.
He emphasised that standardisation, legislation, and private and public partnership are vital for developing this sector. Moreover, there should also be a focus on technicians and engineers’ skills development in the hydrogen energy sector. “The IDB support to attain this objective is fundamental,” Mr Herrera noted.