DEME, the Belgian engineering firm specializing in renewable energy, has partnered with OQ, a leading energy company in Oman, to establish a pilot project for the certification of green hydrogen.
The initiative aims to ensure that the hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources meets the stringent criteria necessary for recognition as a sustainable source of energy. The project also seeks to strengthen the relationship between Oman and Belgium.
The pilot project will be carried out by Hinicio, a specialized company in the hydrogen sector, and will focus on certifying the hydrogen produced at Hyport Duqm, a green hydrogen plant currently under construction in Ad Duqm, Oman. The plant is expected to generate 500 megawatts of electricity through the electrolysis of water, using renewable energy sources like solar and wind power.
The hydrogen produced at Hyport Duqm will be shipped to Europe in the form of green ammonia, a process that minimizes carbon emissions by converting hydrogen into a transportable liquid. Once it arrives in Europe, the hydrogen will be distributed to various locations and used for various purposes, such as fuel for transportation and power generation.
The project comes as the European Union (EU) is working to establish a list of criteria that hydrogen must meet to be recognized as “green.” By certifying the hydrogen produced at Hyport Duqm, DEME and OQ hope to guarantee that their product meets the EU’s rigorous standards for sustainable energy.
The project is also expected to benefit the economies of Oman and Belgium. In addition to strengthening the relationship between the two countries, it will also create jobs in the hydrogen sector, support local industry and businesses, and promote the development of new technologies and infrastructure.
DEME’s investment in the pilot project totals 1.3 million euros, with half of the funding coming from the Belgian energy transition fund. The project is expected to take several months to complete, after which the hydrogen produced at Hyport Duqm will be officially certified as “green” and ready for export to Europe.
Despite the potential benefits of the project, there are still several challenges that need to be addressed. One of the major challenges is the high cost of producing green hydrogen. While the cost of renewable energy has fallen dramatically in recent years, the cost of producing green hydrogen remains relatively high, making it less competitive than traditional fossil fuels.
Another challenge is the lack of infrastructure for the transport and distribution of green hydrogen. Unlike fossil fuels, which have well-established supply chains, the infrastructure for transporting and distributing hydrogen is still in its early stages of development. This means that significant investments will be needed to build the necessary infrastructure, such as pipelines, storage facilities, and refueling stations.
Furthermore, the availability of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power can be unpredictable, making it challenging to produce hydrogen consistently and efficiently. To overcome this challenge, the project will need to develop innovative solutions to store and transport excess energy when it is available.