Oman’s OQ unveils green energy project in JV with Belgium firm

The Alternative Energy unit of OQ, the integrated energy group of Oman, is joining hands with DEME Concessions, the Belgian-based global solutions provider for the maritime infrastructure and offshore energy industries, in the implementation of a world-scale green hydrogen project at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Duqm.
The so-called HYPORT Duqm Green Hydrogen Project, envisaging an electrolyser capacity of 250-500 MW in the first phase, will be part of an array of solar, wind and other alternative energy projects planned for development in a sprawling zone earmarked within the SEZ at Duqm. Recently, the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ), which regulates the country’s free zone developments, allocated an expansive 150 sq kilometres for large-scale green energy investments at Duqm.
OQ’s partnership with DEME Concessions in the delivery of a mega green hydrogen venture effectively marks the wholly government-owned energy giant’s formal foray into the promising renewable and alternative energy space in the Sultanate.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Belgian headquartered DEME and OQ Alternative Energy announced the start of a “joint” initiative to develop a “world-leading” green hydrogen project at Duqm in cooperation with OPAZ.
It cited Duqm’s advantageous geographical location, in addition to the abundance of land, as well as solar and wind resources, to support mega-scale investments in green energy projects.
Besides contributing to the decarbonisation of industries in the SEZ, green hydrogen and other spinoffs, notably green ammonia, will be shipped to international customers in Europe, it noted.
While DEME and OQ will provide the funding, technology and other wherewithal, OPAZ will pitch in with regulatory support and other assistance.
“OPAZ is coordinating with all the government related entities to allow for a smart usage of the infrastructure that is being set up in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm. This includes access to high voltage power lines, access to the sea water intake for the generation of demineralised water and access to the Duqm Port for the export of green hydrogen and its derivatives,” it said.
Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Chairman of the Board of Directors of OPAZ, said: “The start of this cooperation between DEME and OQ is very important, not only for the project, but towards the biggest cause of placing Duqm as hub in the Hydrogen Value chain. The step is also complementing the recently announced decision of the Public Authority of Special Economic Zones and Free Zones of dedicating 150 square km of land for green energy projects in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm, in line with the Oman Vision 2040.”
Dr Salim al Huthaili, CEO Alternative Energy at OQ commented: “Oman is blessed with solar and wind resources and their potential for renewable energy are amongst the world’s best. OQ always looks to maximise the resources available to us, and our utilisation of these renewable resources is just beginning.
The prefeasibility study has demonstrated potential for a green hydrogen project in Duqm using solar and wind resources.
This has enabled the decision for OQ to enter jointly with DEME into the engineering and design phase of the project.”
Alain Bernard, Executive Chairman DEME Concessions and Deputy Chairman Port of Duqm Company, added: “We are thrilled to engage with OQ Alternative Energy into the next step of the ambitious HYPORT Duqm Green Hydrogen Project.
“It is a major step in both our collaboration with the Omani Authorities as well as our partner the Port of Antwerp in the development of the Port of Duqm and related industrial and shipping activities.”