Oman Primed to Be Hub for Production, Export of Green Hydrogen

22-06-15

  • Oman Primed to Be Hub for Production, Export of Green Hydrogen

Muscat, 15 Jun (ONA-FANA) — The Sultanate of Oman has set basic goals for the development of hydrogen economy, foremost of which is focusing on the security of energy supplies, whether at the local or global level, promoting economic diversification programmes and maximizing the in-country value (ICV) of these national resources, which will have a positive impact on fulfilling commitments to agreements to reduce carbon emissions. 

Hydrogen gas station with wind turbines and solar panels in the background. Getting green hydrogen from renewable energy sources

The Sultanate of Oman seeks to be in the ranks of the world’s countries for producing green hydrogen, thanks to the presence of key potentials for its production represented in solar energy, wind energy and extended lands, in addition to Oman’s extensive experience in energy production and export, positioning itself in the centrality to markets, global trade routes and its relations worldwide. The move will contribute to being an important hub in the production and export of green hydrogen.

The Government of the Sultanate of Oman realizes that partnership is necessary to achieve this goal. In August 2021, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals established a national alliance for green hydrogen (branded as Hy-Fly) to place Oman on the map for the development and deployment of clear hydrogen. The alliance included 13 major institutions from the public and private sectors that will join hand to support and facilitate the local production, transportation, utilization and export of hydrogen in line with the energy diversification plans of Oman Vision 2040.

On 13 March 2022, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, instructed when presiding over the Council of Ministers’ meeting to work on accelerating the procedures for regulation of the green hydrogen sector, developing the necessary legal frameworks and policies for the growth of this sector, allocation of technical sites, conducting the necessary studies for the same and establishing a directorate concerned with clean energy and hydrogen energy within the organizational structure of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, as well as the establishment of a company to develop this sector.

Eng. Abdulaziz Said Al Shedhani, Director General of Renewable Energy and Hydrogen at the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, said that the ministry is in the process of appointing a specialized house of expertise to assess and study the existing legislations related to the sector, its investment and its adequacy and suitability in a bid to start developing opportunities in the sector and work in parallel to determine the need for more legislations and the extent of the need for a special law.

Al Shedhani told Oman News Agency (ONA) that the Government is seeking to attract foreign direct investments (FDI) to the green hydrogen sector, and there is a good demand for investment. He explained that the ministry is working during the current stage to unify efforts with other parties concerned with investment and develop appropriate policies, legal and regulatory frameworks and basic studies for this sector.

The Director General of Renewable Energy and Hydrogen at the Ministry of Energy and Minerals hoped that the existing projects in the Sultanate of Oman in this field which are currently in various stages of development would be crowned with success and achieve their goals and bear fruit soon.

Among the important projects in the Sultanate of Oman at the present time is Hyport Duqm project to produce green hydrogen. It is one of the strategic projects being developed in partnership between the OQ group and the Belgian DEME Group. 

The Hyport Duqm project is scheduled to be built in the site allocated for the alternative energy within the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD) on an area of about 150 square kilometres where a wind power plant and a solar power plant will be established with a joint capacity of 1.3 GW to be implemented in expandable phases.

The Hyport Duqm project has currently completed the installation and operation of 4 wind masts for meteorology and 2 solar meteorological stations on site. The step aims to ensure the promising and distinct potentials of Duqm throughout the year in the field of solar and wind energy generation, and then start establishing a plant to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia.

The project comes as part of Oman’s strategy to develop Al Wusta Governorate in general and the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD) in particular, in addition to contributing to achieving renewable energy aspirations and objectives of “Oman Vision 2040”.

The project will play a major role in augmenting the pace of projects and investments in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD) and encouraging many institutions to switch to environmentally friendly energy.

In the first phase of the project, a green hydrogen production plant with a water electrolysis technology with a capacity of 500 megawatts will be established in Duqm zone. This plant will generate 330,000 tons of green ammonia annually. The project expected to be operational by 2027 will meet the global demand of green hydrogen. During the following phases of the project, the value chain will be developed and expanded so that the Duqm zone will become a hub for green hydrogen production in the Sultanate of Oman and the region.  

Oman Investment Authority, ACWA Power Saudi Arabia and Air Products also signed an agreement for the joint development of the Oman Hydrogen Project to establish a plant for the production of ammonia using green hydrogen in the Sultanate of Oman. The parties agreed to establish the joint investment project at Salalah Free Zone and providing it with the latest technologies recognized in this field and integration of innovative renewable energy from solar, wind, storage and hydrogen production by using electrolysis process, nitrogen production through air separation and green ammonia production.

An OQ Group official said that the Sultanate of Oman has the potential and natural capabilities of solar and wind energy to be one of the most important countries in the world that attract green hydrogen projects and lead green industries, in addition to the presence of specialized Omani cadres, local companies and high technologies capable of localizing these projects.

He explained that the use of green hydrogen in the industrial, logistical and infrastructure sectors is crucial and key enabler for investments. He added that that there are strategic investments in the Sultanate of Oman in this sector.

— Ends/Khalid