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Thursday, 15 September 2022

We see you, Oman, trying to slide to the top

Is Oman trying to get a green hydrogen export terminal? The Oman Hydrogen Center (OHC) — the hydrogen research arm of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) — signed two MoUs to study the readiness of Oman and its infrastructure to expand on the green hydrogen front. OHC commissioned a study that would assess whether Oman’s ports and logistics centers could support an export terminal for green hydrogen and its derivatives, according to a statement from logistics services provider Asyad, who was hired to conduct the study.

…And building up the technical capabilities to run one: The OHC also signed an agreement with energy services firm Petrofac that would see them provide training and expertise in green hydrogen project design to students, according to a press release from Petrofac. OHC had signed a similar agreement with Siemens back in 2021.

A long-term view on becoming a global leader in green hydrogen: Last year, Oman signed contracts to build one of the largest green hydrogen plants in the world with a consortium made up of state-owned oil and gas company OQ, Hong Kong-based renewable hydrogen developer InterContinental Energy and the Kuwait-based energy investor Enertech. Construction on the USD 30 bn project will be powered by 25 GW of wind and solar energy and produce 1.8 mn tons of green hydrogen and up to 10 mn tons of green ammonia each year. Much of the output would be exported to Europe and Asia, Alicia Eastman, the co-founder and president of InterContinental Energy, told the Guardian at the time. Earlier this month, Oman’s and South Korea’s energy ministers discussed cooperation in hydrogen projects.

MENA is looking to be a green hydrogen hub: Over the past year, the region has drawn interest from foreign governments and private sector companies to the industry. None, so far, had been more successful than Egypt, whose Suez Canal Economic Zone saw companies agree to do feasibility studies for facilities worth a combined USD 32 bn in August alone.

THE EU IS INCREASING FUNDING FOR GREEN HYDROGEN- The European Commision announced on Wednesday plans to invest EUR 3 bn to develop the green hydrogen market in Europe. The money will be deployed by a new ‘European Hydrogen Bank,’ EC chief Ursula von der Leyen said in a speech yesterday that was short on details (watch, runtime: 1:59:06). “Hydrogen can be a game-changer for Europe. We need to move our hydrogen economy from niche to scale.”

The EU has big hydrogen ambitions: It wants to produce 10 mn tons of green hydrogen — and import another 10 mn — by the end of the decade, requiring a massive 80 GW of electrolysis, according to S&P Global.

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