Morocco: Germany invests €38M in green hydrogen plant, Adani to follow

In an effort to strengthen bilateral relations between Rabat and Berlin on the political and commercial fronts, Germany has committed to providing €38 million (MAD 408 million) to aid in the construction of Morocco’s first green hydrogen plant.

On October 18–19, Moroccan and German government representatives met in Berlin to discuss potential areas of collaboration.

The outcomes of their most recent round of negotiations, which included ideas to build a green hydrogen plant in Morocco, were shared by the German embassy in Rabat.

According to the embassy, the project would establish “Morocco and Germany as leaders in the field of renewable energies in Africa” and be the “first industrial plant [of its sort] in Africa.”

Berlin is interested in assisting Morocco’s green hydrogen industry development as a result of recent improvements in relations with Rabat following diplomatic tensions over the Western Sahara dispute.

The German embassy tweeted that “Since the 1950s, Morocco has been Germany’s important partner in the North Africa/Middle East region and a link between the European Union and North Africa,” praising the long-standing ties between the two countries.

Germany too seems eager to enter Morocco’s green hydrogen sector, which is still in its infancy.

In addition to talking about Morocco’s potential for green hydrogen, the Berlin talks advocated for aiding Rabat’s development initiatives that follow the New Development Model. While highlighting the plan’s objective to double the proportion of women in Morocco’s labor market to 35% by 2035.

Notably, the German Development Bank (KfW) has consented to grant Morocco’s social initiatives intended to expand social coverage a loan of €122 million (MAD 1.3 billion).

In an effort to aid their absorption into the labor market, Germany has further committed to training Moroccan women and young people.

Adani eyes Morocco’s hydrogen potential

The wealthiest man in Asia, Gautam Adani, is in preliminary discussions for a massive renewable energy project in Morocco that would bring electricity and emissions-free fuel to Europe.

According to persons familiar with the plans who asked to remain anonymous to discuss private information, Mr. Adani’s coal-to-ports company is thinking of constructing wind and solar power plants in the country of North Africa as well as units to produce green hydrogen for export.

According to one of the people, the project, which would be Mr. Adani’s largest clean power development outside of India, might be as big as 10 gigawatts. That would be nearly comparable to Morocco’s current installed energy-producing capacity, which according to BloombergNEF statistics totals roughly 2.8 gigawatts of wind and solar energy.

According to one of the persons, the development would be completed in two 5-gigawatt phases and contain ideas for both local power supply and direct electricity export to Europe. According to the ideas, Adani is also in discussions to sell hydrogen to Morocco’s state-owned OCP Group, which the fertilizer manufacturer could use as a feedstock to create carbon-free ammonia.

Shares of Adani Green increased by 3.6% this week, the most in the past two months, above the benchmark index’s 2.4% growth.

Given the development of the technology, it might be years before any green hydrogen is exported to Europe. In Saudi Arabia, a 4GW green hydrogen project is expected to be completed in four years.

Because of their plentiful sunshine and wind, as well as their closeness to important export markets like Europe, nations in North Africa and parts of the Middle East are being recognized as potential major green hydrogen hubs. ReNew Energy Global, an Indian company, struck a preliminary agreement in July to develop an $8 billion green hydrogen project in Egypt.

Adani continues to make significant investments in fossil fuels, but he hopes to make his company the largest generator of sustainable energy in the world by the end of the decade. He is putting a lot of effort into creating a green hydrogen business and believes that India’s and other countries’ heavy industries can be decarbonized with the use of this zero-emission fuel.

The competition includes the billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries Ltd. as well as state-run energy goliaths from India like NTPC Ltd. and Indian Oil Corp.