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Monday, 14 November 2022

Saudi Arabia makes big splash with SGI

Saudi Arabia announces a slew of green agreements: The kingdom came out with some of the biggest renewable energy announcements at the Saudi Green Initiative Forum on the sidelines of COP27, as it looks to reposition itself for a post-oil world. “The world is hoping to crucify us,” Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told Reuters. “We want people to match us, and we want to make sure people put their money where their mouths are,” he said.

Saudi Arabia currently has 13 renewable energy projects worth a combined USD 9 bn in the pipeline, the minister said, according to Al Arabiya. The projects — which include what could become the world’s largest green hydrogen plant — have a collective capacity of 11.3 GW, and will help reduce some 20 mn tons of carbon emissions a year, he said.

There’s more to come: “Next year, we will be finalizing the plans for developing 10 more renewable energy projects and connecting an additional 840 MW of solar PV power to our grid,” bin Salman said during his keynote speech (watch, runtime: 5:36).

Saudi Arabia is looking to source 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030. In the past year alone, Saudi Arabia managed to reduce emissions by about 1 mn tons, the minister said.


Aramco to build massive carbon capture and storage hub: Saudi Aramco signed an agreement to build one of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage hubs with the capacity to store up to 9 mn tons of carbon dioxide a year by 2027, the minister also announced on Thursday. “Don’t be very surprised if we achieve this net zero even before that period,” he said, referring to the kingdom’s plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2060. The story got attention in the foreign press: Reuters | Bloomberg.

The details: The facility, which will be located in Jubail, will get some 6 mn tons of CO2 from Aramco, with the rest to come from other industrial sources, the news outlets say. There were no details on the exact timeline or investments for the project.

This is big for Riyadh’s blue hydrogen ambitions: Saudi Aramco has long had plans to lead a future market for blue hydrogen, a form of zero-carbon fuel made through a process that captures its own carbon emissions.

SOUND SMART- Don’t know the different between green and blue hydrogen? Check out our explainer here.


Ma’aden is also jumping on the carbon capture bandwagon: Saudi mining company Ma’aden signed a 20-year agreement with industrial gas manufacturer Gulf Cryo to build and operate a carbon capture plant in its phosphate complex in Ras Al Khair, Saudi state news agency SPA reported. The plant will capture 300k metric tons of CO2 emissions a year from Ma’aden’s three ammonia plants, Zawya reported.

Where will the captured CO2 go? The CO2 will be used in the place of fossil fuels for industrial gas applications in Saudi Arabia. Some will be distributed to the International Maritime Industries, the largest shipyard in the MENA region, while the rest will be used in industrial applications such as enhanced oil recovery and water desalination.


EBRD to support Egyptian startups from Smart Green Governorates initiative: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide support to six startups selected from Egypt’s Smart Green Governorates initiative, according to an Egyptian cabinet statement. The startups selected are: e-scooter startup Rabbit Mobility, clean energy startup NoorNation, power and water producer Engazaat, Banlastic, Kadet El Mostakbal and Archtech. The bank will provide the startups with technical support, training and business consulting services.


Morocco takes one big step towards green energy export ambitions: Morocco signed an MoU with France, Portugal, Spain and Germany to facilitate cross-border renewable corporate power purchase agreements and financial and technical cooperation, according to a statement (pdf). The agreement will see Morocco make regulatory and legislative amendments to support green energy cooperation between the five countries, including through granting the private sector access to the Moroccan electricity transmission grid, the statement said.

Morocco has big ambitions to become a key green energy exporter to Europe: Morocco plans to supply 8% of the UK’s electricity needs by exporting 3.6 GW of electricity via its 10.5 GW of solar and wind energy from just its Xlinks renewable energy project by 2030. Just a few weeks ago, the country signed an agreement with the EU to establish a “green partnership” that would see cooperation and “investment in green technology, renewable energy production, sustainable mobility, and clean production in industry.”


Worth knowing about this morning:

  • Abu Dhabi’s Environment Agency (EAD) and the UAE’s Climate Change Ministry signed an MoU at COP27 with retailer Majid Al Futtaim to increase reliance on reusable plastic, WAM reported on Thursday.
  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi called for a “legal, binding agreement” to help preserve its water security amid the ongoing Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam conflict with Ethiopia, according to a statement from the presidential spokesman.
  • GORD signs MoUs with Qatar’s Doha Bank, Baladna: The Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD) signed two MoUs on Saturday — one with Qatar’s Doha Bank to boost green initiatives, and another with dairy firm Baladna Food Industries to support food security and decarbonization initiatives, QNA wrote.
  • Microsoft will build a digital Government Emissions Accounting and Reporting Center of Excellence (GEAR COE) in Egypt to help authorities digitally record, measure and report on carbon emissions, according to a company statement (pdf).
  • Upping cooperation on mining and green hydrogen was the key topic of discussion in a meeting between Egypt’s Oil Minister Tarek El Molla and Australia’s Environment and Climate Action Minister Reece Whitby. (Statement)

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