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Oman to become world leader in green hydrogen production

18 May 2021

An international consortium comprising Oman’s integrated energy company OQ, Hong Kong-based green fuels developer InterContinental Energy, and Kuwaiti government-backed clean energy investor and developer EnerTech will develop an integrated green fuels mega project  which will make the sultanate world leader in green hydrogen and green ammonia production.

In the works for three years, the consortium has been collaborating on the project which will consist of 25-gigawatts of renewable solar and wind energy at full capacity to produce millions of tonnes of zero-carbon green hydrogen per annum, OQ said in a press statement on Tuesday.

Green hydrogen can be used locally, exported directly, or converted into green ammonia for international export. The consortium partners will leverage their broad existing commercial relationships and partnerships to secure long-term product sales agreements, the statement said.

Given the project site’s strategic location between Europe and Asia, as well as excellent solar irradiance and wind resource facing the Arabian Sea, the development is well positioned to offer a secure and reliable supply of green fuels globally at a highly competitive price.

According to various estimates, green hydrogen is expected to grow into a US$2.5tn global market by 2050. Demand comes from the shipping sector, which requires green ammonia for its de-carbonisation needs, the aviation sector, which will utilise synthetic fuels made from green hydrogen, parts of the ground transportation sector, such as rail and trucking, which are expected to adopt green hydrogen as a fuel source, as well as heavy industries located in areas such as North West Europe that will use green hydrogen to fuel their industrial processes including the production of steel.

In addition, power companies across East Asia with a legacy reliance on coal and gas are planning to transition to green ammonia in order to reduce their carbon emissions.

The consortium has been conducting wind and solar monitoring analysis in Al Wusta governorate in Oman since 2019. Renewable power generation will benefit from very high and stable levels of solar and wind energy, exhibiting the optimal diurnal profile of strong wind at night and reliable sun during the day.

The project is also located near the coast for seawater intake and electrolysis. Existing energy infrastructure in Oman provides additional future options to develop synthetic fuels for the aviation sector, which will be critical for de-carbonisation.

According to OQ, this mega project will help transform Oman’s skills base and technical expertise in renewable energy, providing a significant number of high value jobs during site construction and operation. Given the amount of equipment required in a project of this scale, it could also support the development of Oman’s renewable energy supply chain manufacturing and expertise.

Salim al Huthaili, CEO for alternative energy at OQ, said, “We are proud to announce our biggest project in this field, which aims to maximise utilisation of Oman’s natural resources of wind and solar to produce green hydrogen. Alternative energy is a key driver for OQ’s long-term growth and a cornerstone of its strategy. It is also in-line with the country’s ambitious Oman Vision 2040 that aims to diversify the nation’s resources and maximise the financial value derived. We are pleased with the progress of the project so far and look forward to continuing development in collaboration with our partners.”

Alicia Eastman, co-founder and president of InterContinental Energy, said, “This is a huge milestone in our mission to deliver cost competitive zero carbon fuels at unprecedented scale to meet rapidly growing global demand across sectors. Only by de-carbonising fuels as well as electrons will the world reach the Paris climate agreement targets and increasingly stringent commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It has been an absolute pleasure working with our wonderful partners, each of whom brings critical domain expertise to the consortium.”

Abdullah al Mutairi, CEO of EnerTech, said, “This is a landmark project that is in line with our objective of being the leading platform for clean energy and energy transition in Kuwait and the broader GCC. Our model of converging technology with infrastructure investment will place us at the forefront of de-carbonisation to realise our national objectives and meet our commitments under the Paris Agreement.”

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