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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Muscat to host key forum on Oman-EU Energy Transition

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28 Nov 2023


MUSCAT: Energy cooperation between the Sultanate of Oman and the European Union (EU) is set for a significant boost as Muscat prepares to host next month a key delegation representing the EU-GCC Green Transition Cooperation Project.


An important highlight of the visit is a forum set to take place on the sidelines of the Green Hydrogen Summit Oman (GHSO) Conference & Exhibition on December 13, 2023. Discussions during the forum will focus on the theme, 'EU and Oman Cooperation: Shaping the Future of Renewable Hydrogen'. It will feature, among other elements, a ‘Ministerial Fireside Discussion’ involving Eng Salim al Aufi, Oman’s Minister of Energy and Minerals (MEM), and Kadri Simson, EU Commissioner for Energy.


A series of presentations and panel discussions also planned during the forum will delve into opportunities to strengthen strategic collaboration between the EU and the Omani government, focusing on green hydrogen’s potential and furthering the global energy transition.


Taking part in these sessions are Dr Firas al Abduwani, Director General of Renewable Energy and Hydrogen (MEM); Ambassador Christophe Farnaud, the EU Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, and State of Qatar; and Spyros Kouvelis, Team Leader, EU-GCC Green Transition Network Project, among others.


The visit builds on a succession of high-profile engagements between Oman and the European Union – a potentially lucrative market that Muscat is keenly eyeing as a destination for a sizable chunk of its exports of green hydrogen, among other hydrogen derivatives such as green ammonia and methanol. Those volumes are expected to materialize starting from 2030, when an estimated 1 million tonnes of green hydrogen (or its derivatives) production capacity is anticipated to come online, mainly in and around the Duqm SEZ.


Two key topics that are due to feature in the deliberations relate to recent EU regulatory initiatives on imports of green hydrogen into the European Union. One concerns the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which aims to ensure that the EU's climate policies are not undermined by production relocating to countries with less ambitious green standards or by the replacement of EU products by more carbon-intensive imports. In its transitional phase, CBAM will only apply to imports of cement, iron and steel, aluminium, fertilisers, electricity and hydrogen.


Another flagship initiative of the European Commission is REPowerEU, an initiative that supports the import of a diverse mix of clean energies including renewable hydrogen.


High-level delegations from a number of countries – aspiring green hydrogen producers and importers alike – are expected to attend the Green Hydrogen Summit Oman (GHSO) Conference and Exhibition due to take place in Muscat from December 12 – 14, 2023. Organized by Birba, Oman's energy-focused event planner, GHSO 2023 enjoys the support of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and the Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit.


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