Oman aspires to become green hydrogen production and export center

The Sultanate of Oman has set basic goals for developing the hydrogen economy, the most important of which is to focus on energy supply security, whether at the local or global level, to promote economic diversification programs, and maximize the local value of these national resources, all of which will help the Sultanate of Oman meet its commitments. In the direction of carbon emission reduction agreements.

In addition to its extensive experience in energy production and export, and its centrality in markets and trade routes, the Sultanate of Oman aspires to join the ranks of the world’s countries producing green hydrogen due to the presence of the main ingredients for its production represented in solar energy, wind energy, and extended lands. It has international linkages and relationships, which will help it become a major hub for the production and export of green hydrogen.

The Sultanate of Oman’s government recognizes that achieving this aim would need collaboration. In August 2021, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals established the “High Fly” national alliance for green hydrogen to establish the Sultanate’s position on the map of developing clean hydrogen production. The alliance included 13 major public and private institutions that will collaborate to support and facilitate local hydrogen production, transportation, utilization, and export in line with the “Oman Vision 2” energy diversification plans.

His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, may God protect him and his patronage, directed the Council of Ministers meeting on March 13th to work on speeding up the procedures for organizing the green hydrogen sector, establishing the legal frameworks and policies required for growth and allocation of technical sites, preparing the necessary studies, and establishing a directorate concerned with clean energy and hydrogen energy within the organization.

According to Eng. Abdulaziz bin Saeed Al Shethani, Director General of the General Directorate of Renewable Energy and Hydrogen at the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, the ministry is in the process of appointing a specialized think tank to assess and study existing legislation related to the sector and investment in it, as well as its adequacy and suitability, and to begin developing opportunities in the sector while simultaneously determining the need for more legislation. He told the Oman News Agency that the government is working to attract foreign direct investment into the green hydrogen sector and that there is a strong demand for it. He added that the ministry is currently coordinating efforts with other stakeholders to develop appropriate policies, legal and regulatory frameworks, and basic studies for the sector.

The Director-General of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals’ General Directorate of Renewable Energy and Hydrogen expressed his hope that the Sultanate of Oman’s existing renewable energy and hydrogen projects, which are currently in various stages of development, will be crowned with success and achieve their goals and bear fruit soon.

The “Highport Duqm” project to manufacture green hydrogen, which is one of the strategic initiatives being developed in cooperation with the “Okio” company and the Belgian “Demi” group, is now one of the most significant projects in the Sultanate of Oman.

The “Highport Duqm” project is set to be developed over an area of around 150 square kilometers in the Duqm Special Economic Zone’s alternative energy sector, where a wind power plant and a solar power plant with a combined capacity of 1.3 gigawatts would be built in scalable stages.

To ensure the promising and distinct potentials of Duqm throughout the year in the field of solar and wind energy generation, the “Highport Duqm” project has now completed the installation and operation of 4 meteorological wind masts and 2 solar meteorological stations within the site; and then start establishing a plant to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia.

The project is part of the Sultanate of Oman’s plan to develop the Al Wusta Governorate in general and the Special Economic Zone at Duqm in particular, as well as contribute to the Sultanate’s renewable energy ambitions and the “Oman Vision 2040” aims.

The initiative will play a significant role in speeding up the pace of projects and investments in Duqm’s Special Economic Zone, as well as encouraging numerous businesses to convert to environmentally friendly energy sources.

A green hydrogen production facility using water electrolysis technology with a capacity of 500 megawatts will be built in the Duqm area in the first phase of the project, generating 330,000 tons of green ammonia yearly. The value chain will be enhanced and expanded in the project’s subsequent phases, with the goal of making the Duqm area a hub for green hydrogen generation in the Sultanate of Oman and the region.

By agreeing to establish the joint investment project in the Salalah Free Zone and providing it with the latest technologies recognized in this field and integration, the Oman Investment Authority, ACWA Power Saudi Arabia, and Air Products signed an agreement for the joint development of the Oman Hydrogen Project to establish a plant for the production of ammonia using green hydrogen in the Sultanate of Oman. Solar, wind, and storage-based renewable energy, hydrogen synthesis via electrolysis, nitrogen production by air separation, and green ammonia manufacturing are all examples of innovative renewable energy.

The Sultanate of Oman, according to an official with the Okiyo Group, has the potential and natural capabilities of solar and wind energy to be one of the most important countries in the world for attracting green hydrogen projects and leading green industries, thanks to the presence of specialized Omani cadres, local companies, and high technologies capable of localizing these projects. He stated that the use of green hydrogen in the industrial, logistical, and infrastructural sectors is vital and feasible for investments, saying that the Sultanate of Oman has made significant investments in this area.