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Oman sees potential to attract hydrogen investments worth $34 bn by 2040

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Major benefits: New hydrogen economy to create 147k jobs, offset 40 million metric tons of CO2 annually

A future national economy powered by hydrogen as a sustainable energy resource envisions new investment inflows into the Sultanate of Oman estimated in the range of $34 billion in green projects by 2040, a high-level official at the heart of the strategy announced here on Tuesday.

Dr Abdullah al Abri, Head of Energy Renewal – the renewable and alternative energy unit of Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), said the new hydrogen economy also has the potential to create between 34,000 and 147,000 new “green jobs”, as well as position the country among the region’s Top-3 producers of clean hydrogen. Additionally, these green investments will contribute to either reducing or offsetting up to 40.5 million metric tonnes of CO2 per annum.

The salient benefits associated with the Sultanate of Oman’s future hydrogen-centric economy were outlined by Dr Al Abri during the opening session of the Green Hydrogen Summit Oman (GHSO), which formally kicked off at Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) on Tuesday. The 3-day forum has been organised by Muscat-based Birba Energy Services under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals. Oman Daily Observer is the Official Newspaper of the maiden edition of the annual conference.

In his presentation, Dr Al Abri said Energy Renewal was tasked by the Ministry to study the feasibility of a National Hydrogen Economy – a roughly 18-months-long exercise that has since been handed over to the National Hydrogen Alliance (HyFly) established earlier this year.

“The objective of the work we did, which forms the basis of the National Hydrogen Economy Strategy, focused on, among other things, the business opportunities available in the hydrogen space, whether the hydrogen is in its gas or liquid form, and if any hydrogen derivatives, such as ammonia, methanol, dimethyl ether (DME), or the products, are feasible,” the official said.

The study also covered issues at the upstream end (focusing on hydrogen production), midstream (transportation and storage of the fuel), markets and utilisation opportunities, and other aspects of the supply chain, he stated.

Attesting to the strong appetite for hydrogen as a future energy source, a project funnel that was empty a few years ago is now “filling up and maturing nicely” with projects, said Dr Al Abri. It includes ventures being spearheaded by OQ, the country’s global integrated energy group, and India’s ACME Group, among others.

Other value-add initiatives linked to the hydrogen economy include opportunities to blend hydrogen with natural gas for power and enhanced oil recovery operations, the use of hydrogen as feedstock for industry and fuel for transportation, the production of new and enhanced chemicals from hydrogen, and for export.

Based on the demand outlook, the hydrogen economy targets 1 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2025, rising to 10 GW by 2030 with a ramp-up to 30 GW anticipated by 2040, he added.

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