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The world needs affordable energy: Aufi



Amid the global transition to greener and sustainable alternatives, affordability of energy supplies must remain a key imperative, Oman’s Minister of Energy and Minerals has stressed.

Eng Salim bin Nasser al Aufi (pictured) made the observation in remarks to an exclusive gathering of energy ministers, CEOs of international energy companies, and representatives of international energy think-tanks.

The gathering, dubbed ‘Energy Executives Circle’, took place on the eve of the Green Hydrogen Summit Oman 2022 Conference & Exhibition, which concluded in Muscat last week.

Speaking at the forum, Al Aufi said the world needs to strike a balance between three competing pillars: energy affordability, sustainability of energy supplies, and climate-friendly resources.

In fact, the decision of some countries in Europe and Asia to turn to coal production, amid soaring energy costs triggered by the Ukraine War, serves to underscore the need for energy supplies to be affordable, he said.

“So energy needs to be affordable, it needs to be sustainable, and it needs to be clean — and it needs to be in that order, because without providing affordable energy, whether it’s in the short term or the long term, the solution would be (for some countries) to go for alternative options that they not necessarily sustainable,” Al Aufi stated.

For its part, the Sultanate of Oman is moving “extremely fast” to help cater to the global need for clean energy, notably in the form of green hydrogen, the minister said.

“We are working very hard towards achieving that commitment, with at least one million tonnes of hydrogen to be produced by 2030. I think we are pretty much going to be meeting that target, but we are actually working harder to try and exceed it,” he said, adding that Oman is looking to be a major and reliable supplier of clean energy to Europe.

Oman is eyeing around $20 billion worth of investments in new green hydrogen and green ammonia projects to help achieve its targeted output of 1 million tonnes of green energy per annum by 2030.

While part of this output will come from developers bidding for acreage to build their projects, the rest will be contributed by so-called ‘Legacy Initiatives’ — project proposals that were announced before the launch of Oman’s National Hydrogen Strategy on October 23, 2022.

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