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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Dutch business alliance eyes opportunities in Oman’s hydrogen sector

Eng Salim al Aufi, Minister of Energy and Minerals, with Dutch Ambassador Stella Kloth, and top executives of leading Dutch businesses, attending a reception held in Muscat in December.
Eng Salim al Aufi, Minister of Energy and Minerals, with Dutch Ambassador Stella Kloth, and top executives of leading Dutch businesses, attending a reception held in Muscat in December.
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MUSCAT: Around 30 Dutch companies with business interests spanning the hydrogen value chain have forged an alliance with the goal to target opportunities in the nascent hydrogen industries of the Sultanate of Oman, among other Gulf economies.


Dubbed the ‘Partners for International Business (PIB), the alliance was first unveiled on the eve of the COP28 Climate Conference in Dubai last November. It has been launched as a three-year cooperative initiative between the Dutch government and the private sector from the Netherlands.


Representing the Dutch government in the initiative is the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), an executive body of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. RVO helps business owners run sustainable, agricultural, innovative or international businesses. Coordinating the initiative on behalf of the private sector is the Holland Hydrogen Hub, which styles itself as a ‘business hub and gateway’ connecting organisations from the Netherlands and the Middle East.


“Marking the start of a 3-year collaboration between the Dutch government and private sector players from the Netherlands in the PIB Hydrogen initiative. We are looking forward to working together on this Hydrogen program in the Gulf Region,” said Holland Hydrogen Hub in a post.


The alliance’s primary mandate is to participate in green hydrogen projects in Oman, among other Gulf states, with the hydrogen output offered for local consumption as well as export to the Netherlands. Also in the alliance’s sights are the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia which, like Oman, have pledged to invest billions of dollars in the new green hydrogen industry.


Included in the PIB cluster are a number of prominent Dutch clean energy players. The list includes Air Products, Plug, Port of Amsterdam, Port of Rotterdam, Royal Haskoning DHV, Vopak, Thomassen Energy, and Roland Berger, among others.


Some of them were represented at a reception hosted by Stella Kloth, Ambassador of the Kingdom of The Netherlands to Oman, last December, against the backdrop of the Green Hydrogen Summit Oman held in Muscat. Oman’s Minister of Energy and Minerals, Eng Salim bin Nasser al Aufi, was invited to outline the country’s strategy to develop an export-oriented hydrogen industry as part of its energy transition.


To its credit, the Netherlands has made strides in building a partnership with Oman that ties into the latter’s ambitious clean energy plans. In early December, the Omani government, represented by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and Hydrom, signed an agreement with a consortium of multinational firms to study the development of a liquid hydrogen supply chain, to deliver Omani green hydrogen to the Port of Amsterdam and onwards to Europe. Taking part in the study from the Dutch side are the Port of Amsterdam, Zenith Energy Terminals (a bulk energy storage services provider) and GasLog Ltd (a key player in the global LNG market).


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