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Japan’s Sumitomo, ARA eye hydrogen project in Oman

24 Jan 2021

The project is expected to produce between 300 to 400 tonnes of hydrogen annually from associated flare gas generated at the site.

Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation and Omani energy firm ARA Petroleum have launched a feasibility study on a hydrogen hybrid project which will be based on a local production and consumption model in Oman.

The project aims to establish a hydrogen supply chain based on the local production and consumption model at a site where ARA Petroleum produces oil and gas, with a target to commence operations in 2023, according to a statement published by Sumitomo Corporation on its website.

The project is expected to produce between 300 to 400 tonnes of hydrogen annually from associated flare gas generated at the site. The hydrogen will be mainly utilised as a fuel for fuel cell vehicles that ARA plans to introduce at the site, Sumitomo Corporation said.

In addition, 20MW solar power generation panels will be installed and used as a power source for the site and hydrogen production facilities, the company said.

Hydrogen can be produced by effectively utilising associated gas generated as a by-product during oil production and by using the steam reforming method.

‘While contributing to decarbonisation and cleanliness of oil and gas production activities through this project, Sumitomo Corporation is considering expanding the model of the project both in Oman and overseas in the future,’ Sumitomo Corporation said.

In November 2020, Oman’s Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) announced that a group of international companies have expressed their interest to invest in the green hydrogen projects in the special economic zones and free zones in the sultanate.

In line with Oman’s efforts to promote the use of hydrogen as a fuel, Sumitomo Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding with ARA Petroleum in March 2020 and engaged in discussions on the project.

Sumitomo Corporation expects hydrogen to be one of the important energy sources in the future, and it promotes hydrogen-related business such as local production and consumption projects and large scale value chain projects that utilises the regional requirements of energy and the characteristics of hydrogen.

‘In order to greatly contribute to the achievement of our long-term goals toward climate change mitigation (carbon neutralisation in 2050), we will accelerate our efforts for the materialisation of a hydrogen society by promoting hydrogen-related businesses,’ Sumitomo Corporation said.

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