MUSCAT, OCT 22
Saudi-based international energy developer ACWA Power says a major green hydrogen project planned in the Sultanate of Oman’s Dhofar Governorate could be operational before 2029.
It’s the first such announcement since a consortium comprising ACWA Power, integrated Omani energy group OQ and leading industrial gases company Air Products signed a joint development agreement (JDA) in May 2022 covering a multibillion-dollar investment in a world-scale green hydrogen-based ammonia production facility powered by renewable energy in Oman. Earlier, in December 2021, the parties had signed a Memorandum of Understanding affirming their initial interest in developing the mega-scale venture.
In an interview published over the weekend, London-based publishing house MEED quoted a top ACWA Power official as saying that the integrated green hydrogen and ammonia project, potentially costing $7 billion, is expected to be operational before 2029.
“It is an integrated project that will produce hydrogen – particularly very low carbon hydrogen,” Lovato told MEED. “The intention is to replicate this process in several regions in order to reduce cost,” he said, adding: “Oman is the second one that has been announced and it is still in early stages. Commercial operations are expected to start in 2027 or 2028.”
The Oman project, the downstream elements of which are expected to be developed at Salalah Free Zone, will be broadly modelled on processes envisioned in a similar giant scheme that will power the $500 billion futuristic city NEOM being built in northwest Saudi Arabia, the official noted. ACWA Power and Air Products are also involved in the NEOM green energy venture.
As for a timeframe for the implementation of the Oman project, Lovato stated: “An exact time has not been defined yet, only a general range. It is the second one that will use the same approach as NEOM.”
During the JDA signing in May, officials had said that the Oman venture would likely be equally owned by the project partners. The joint venture project would be based on proven, world-class technology and include: the innovative integration of renewable power from solar, wind and storage; production of hydrogen by electrolysis; production of nitrogen by air separation; and production of green ammonia.