Mexico president says Danish fund to invest $10 billion in Mexico to produce green hydrogen

MEXICO CITY/COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – A Danish fund will invest $10 billion in a development hub in southern Mexico to produce green hydrogen for ships and to replace fossil fuel use, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday.

One of Lopez Obrador’s key infrastructure projects is the development of an industrial corridor connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in Mexico’s poorer south.

“It is a financial economic fund from Denmark, they are going to invest in a development hub (…) $10 billion, because they are going to produce green hydrogen to replace fossil fuels,” the president told a press conference.

In August, Lopez Obrador said that Danish asset manager Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) was going to begin construction of a green hydrogen plant in the southern port of Salina Cruz to supply ships with the fuel.

At the time, the president did not mention the size of the investment, and a spokesperson for CIP said on Friday that its plans for Mexico were known.

“We can confirm that we are involved in a large-scale green hydrogen project in the Oaxaca region in Mexico. Further development will take place in collaboration with local authorities and partners,” CIP said when contacted on Friday. “We will provide further updates as the project progresses.”

The CIP spokesperson said they did not know whether Lopez Obrador was talking about the same project on Friday and declined to confirm the sum he cited as its planned investment.

Lopez Obrador, a strong proponent of fossil fuels since taking office in late 2018, said that new vessels around the world will use the green hydrogen obtained through wind and solar energy via electrolysis.

“We are talking about the era of non-pollution, of everything being done to prevent climate change,” the president added, without providing further details on the investment or its timeline.

Denmark’s embassy in Mexico did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the president’s comments.

(Reporting by Raul Cortes Fernandez; Additional reporting by Dave Graham in Mexico City and Johannes Birkebaek in Copenhagen; Writing by Brendan O’Boyle; Editing by Alistair Bell)