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Oman eyes FID for HYPORT Duqm green hydrogen project in 2023

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Decarbonisation goals: Major alternative energy schemes to be showcased at 3-day Summit underway in Muscat

A Final Investment Decision (FID) linked to the implementation of a major green hydrogen project in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Duqm in the Sultanate of Oman is slated during 2023, according to an official representing a key shareholder in the venture.

Dubbed ‘HYPORT Duqm’, the joint Omani-Belgian initiative envisions the development of a 500 MW capacity green hydrogen and green ammonia facility in the first phase powered by solar and wind installations offering up to 1.3 gigawatt-peak (GWp) of renewable power generation capacity.

OQ – the global integrated energy group of the Sultanate of Oman, along with DEME Concessions of Belgium – a shareholder in the Port of Duqm consortium, are jointly driving the implementation of HYPORT Duqm, the first phase of first is set for launch in 2026.

Progress in the delivery of the landmark venture – one of a series of world-scale low-carbon initiatives planned by OQ – was outlined by a key representative during a recent webinar hosted jointly by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and the Italian Embassy in the Sultanate of Oman.

Dr Juman al Saqlawi, a member of OQ’s Alternative Energy Unit, said a Final Investment Decision (FID) for the HYPORT Duqm project– an important milestone signalling the shareholders’ intent to move ahead with its financing and implementation – is planned in 2023.

“Our main driver for development hydrogen projects is the fact that there has been a global demand for carbon-neutral fuels, specifically hydrogen, and a lot of countries are focusing on decarbonisation as well; so we have focused on the development of projects that serve this demand,” Dr Al Saqlawi stated.

OQ’s portfolio of alternative projects, according to the official, is primarily export-orientated. “We have announced two projects in green hydrogen with both looking at the production of green ammonia as a way to carry the hydrogen molecules.”

HYPORT Duqm, the first of these ventures, will seek to capitalise on the abundant solar and wind resources of Al Wusta Governorate, to support 500 MW of electrolyser capacity, Dr Al Juman said. Together with international partners Intercontinental Energy and Enertech, OQ is also supporting the development of a mega scale 25 GW renewable energy-based generation capacity project, also in Duqm, to produce green ammonia.

OQ has since announced a third large-scale scheme for development in Salalah Free Zone in the south of the country. Salalah2 is a joint initiative of OQ, Marubeni Corporation (Japanese integrated trading and investment business conglomerate), multinational chemicals giant Linde, and Dutco of the UAE. It targets the production of up to 1000 tons per day of green ammonia, utilising OQ’s existing ammonia plant in Salalah. An electrolysis facility with a capacity of up to 400 MW will be constructed to produce green hydrogen. Approximately 1 GW of solar and wind energy, produced either by existing or new facilities, will be used to power the electrolyzer.

Boding well for the emergence of the Sultanate of Oman as a green hydrogen hub are a number of factors, most notably its existing support infrastructure, said Dr Al Saqlawi. “Oman has quite a bit of existing infrastructure that is compatible with hydrogen, which would minimise the investment required for hydrogen projects. We have ports located across the country at Suhar, Duqm and Salalah, existing gas networks that could be utilised to blend hydrogen and probably, in the future, to transport hydrogen as well, and an electricity grid that connects the north to the south, which can be utilised for hydrogen production.”

Dr Saqlawi and her colleagues at OQ will be among a wide roster of speakers who will present during the Green Hydrogen Summit Oman, currently underway at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre. The 3-day forum features officials representing major governments, energy companies, and service providers advocating for green hydrogen as the carbon-neutral fuel of choice to drive the domestic and global energy transition.

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