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Belgian firm, OQ unit to set up green hydrogen project in Duqm

19 Dec 2020

DEME Concessions, a Belgium-based dredging, environmental and marine engineering group, and OQ Alternative Energy, the green energy unit of Oman’s integrated energy firm OQ, have announced the start of a joint project to develop a world leading, green hydrogen plant in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm.

The green hydrogen project in Duqm will be developed in cooperation with Oman’s Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ), DEME said in a statement on its website. The project fits well in the sultanate’s renewable energy strategy fostering investments in renewable and alternative energy resources, also contributing in achieving the renewable energy targets of the Oman Vision 2040, the company said.

The Special Economic Zone at Duqm provides a strategic and competitive location to develop large-scale green hydrogen production, given its centrality to global trade, the favourable wind and solar resources, the existing large port facilities and the proximity to a booming industrial zone.

‘The facility will significantly contribute to the decarbonisation of the regional industry in Oman, as well as providing green hydrogen and/or derivatives (such as green ammonia) to international customers in Europe,’ DEME said.

The envisaged electrolyser capacity for a first phase is estimated between 250MW and 500MW. Following this first phase, upscaling of the installation is also foreseen. The geographic location advantage of being in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm is the availability of competitive renewable energy (solar and wind), as well as large, accessible sites, the company added.

According to the DEME statement, OPAZ is extending its full support in facilitating the implementation of this project. A site has been reserved with OPAZ to allow the installation of a solar and wind park on a site ideally located along the windy Omani coast and Arabian Sea.

In the press statement issued by DEME, H E Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, chairman of the board of directors of OPAZ, said, “The start of this cooperation between DEME and OQ is very important, not only for the project, but towards the biggest cause of placing Duqm as hub in the hydrogen value chain.”

Salim al Huthaili, CEO of Alternative Energy at OQ said, “Oman is blessed with solar and wind resources and their potential for renewable energy are amongst the world’s best. OQ always looks to maximise the resources available to us, and our utilisation of these renewable resources is just beginning. The prefeasibility study has demonstrated potential for a green hydrogen project in Duqm using solar and wind resources. This has enabled the decision for OQ to enter jointly with DEME into the engineering and design phase of the project.”

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