Hydrogen is undoubtedly making waves on the global energy stage, and it’s no surprise that even oil-rich Saudi Arabia is diving into the hydrogen business. Hyundai and KEPCO (Korea Electric Power Corporation) are joining forces with Saudi entities to create a thriving hydrogen ecosystem in the desert kingdom, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable and cleaner energy future.
In a significant move, Hyundai Motor inked a multilateral agreement in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to kickstart a joint hydrogen business, aligning with the nation’s aspirations to reduce carbon emissions and transform its energy landscape.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed during the state visit of President Yoon Suk Yeol to Saudi Arabia. The agreement includes prominent participants: the Korea Automotive Technology Institute (Katech), Air Products Qudra, a joint venture involving Air Products and Qudra Energy, and the Saudi Public Transport Company (Saptco).
The primary goal is to establish a robust hydrogen ecosystem within Saudi Arabia and pool resources and expertise to promote the widespread adoption of hydrogen-based mobility solutions.
A Collaborative Approach
Each of the four entities brings unique capabilities and contributions to the table, fostering a truly collaborative approach to the hydrogen revolution.
Hyundai Motor’s role involves the sale or lending of hydrogen-powered vehicles to Saptco, a significant step in introducing fuel cell technology to Saudi Arabia’s public transport sector.
Katech plays a crucial part in facilitating the participation of Korean companies in hydrogen projects within Saudi Arabia, while also gathering valuable data from test runs of hydrogen buses.
Air Products Qudra, as a joint venture of Air Products and Qudra Energy, will spearhead the development of a comprehensive hydrogen supply chain in Saudi Arabia. This includes aspects like hydrogen production, distribution, fueling stations, and station operations.
Saptco, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned bus company, is on a path to collect and share essential data regarding hydrogen mobility operations. Their strategic partnership with Hyundai Motor signifies their intent to transition their fleet to hydrogen-powered alternatives, taking a significant step towards clean and sustainable public transportation.
Saudi Arabia’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2060 aligns with its broader vision known as “Saudi Vision 2030.” This ambitious initiative aims to reduce the country’s reliance on the traditional fossil fuel industry and set a course for a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.
KEPCO’s Clean Energy Initiatives
In tandem with Hyundai’s hydrogen venture, KEPCO has been actively pursuing clean energy initiatives in Saudi Arabia. The company signed a letter of intent with Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil and gas company, to introduce low-carbon, clean ammonia into Korea. Aramco’s production plans for 10 million tons of clean ammonia per year using carbon capture and storage technologies signal a remarkable shift towards more sustainable practices in an oil-centric industry.
Moreover, KEPCO strengthened its partnership with the Saudi Electricity Corporation (SEC) to explore grid standardization, engineering, and business development opportunities. The two entities are now poised to share technology, experience, and develop advanced grid technologies.
In an exciting development, KEPCO is collaborating with Saudi local company Aljomay Energy (AEW) to explore opportunities in the overseas hydrogen business.
The joint hydrogen initiatives by Hyundai, KEPCO, and Saudi partners hold the promise of a greener and more sustainable future. While the oil industry still plays a central role in Saudi Arabia’s economy, these bold steps toward hydrogen adoption reflect a global shift towards cleaner energy alternatives.
Saudi Arabia’s vision and commitment to carbon neutrality are driving innovations and partnerships that will shape its energy landscape for decades to come. With advanced technologies and cooperative efforts, these initiatives aim to transform the desert kingdom into a hub for clean and sustainable energy solutions.