Strong commercial relations between Oman and the UK have led to thousands of jobs, economic progress, and wealth in Oman. Hydrogen additionally strengthens the ties.
British investors make up about 47% of all foreign direct investments made in Oman, with the energy industry playing a significant role. Bp and Shell, two British energy industry leaders, along with a vast ecosystem of UK energy firms that includes SMEs from around the UK, provide significant contributions to a sector that accounts for 77 percent of Omani state revenue.
Energy is evolving, as seen at COP26 and COP27, and Oman is advancing as a regional leader in this area. Leaders from every segment of the hydrogen value chain, from production and transportation to applications and storage, came together at the second Green Hydrogen Summit last month in Muscat. The Summit, which was spearheaded by the Omani government, revealed the Sultanate’s desire to lead the world in green hydrogen.
Oman’s excellent location contributes significantly to its potential for renewable energy. Oman will only need to set aside 0.1 percent of its landmass for renewable energy to fulfill its own future energy requirements, making energy exports essential. Oman has powerful sun, ferocious winds, and plenty of space, and is positioned near strategically located shipping ports for future exports.
Success also requires vision, creativity, and teamwork, and the Sultanate’s goals to develop a hydrogen-centric economy by 2040 offer great potential for cooperation between our two countries.
The potential for this UK-Oman partnership is driven by three variables: the robustness of the UK’s legislative framework, the renewables ecosystem, and government export funding.
In order to satisfy the legally enforceable goal to attain net zero by 2050, low-carbon hydrogen, a new domestic super fuel in the UK, will be essential for our own energy security.
The UK government increased its goal for 2030 hydrogen generation from 2GW to 10GW last year. This solidifies the UK’s leadership position in the battle to produce hydrogen on a worldwide scale. The shift to greater energy security and, of course, the achievement of our net zero ambitions are made possible by hydrogen, which offers a safe, low-carbon replacement for fossil fuels.
Green energy objectives cannot be met in a vacuum; in order to find global solutions, collaboration with partners from around the world is required.
The “New Energy Oman” conference was conducted at the Mansion House in London in July of last year. Abdulsalam Al-Murshidi, Qais Mohammed Al Yousef, and top OQ, PDO, Hydrom, and other representatives were in attendance. From all parts of the UK, more than 250 institutional investors and energy firms attended the event. These businesses see Oman’s potential and are eager to learn more about the hydrogen business opportunities available. Many of these participants went to Oman for the green hydrogen summit in December as well as the British Embassy’s energy trade mission there in October.
The UK-Oman Sovereign Investment Partnership, which was agreed upon about a year ago, has served as a springboard for diversifying and stepping up bilateral investment, supporting prosperity and high-caliber jobs in every nook and cranny of both of our countries.
Finance is a key component in realizing Oman’s potential for renewable energy. The British Government has the capacity to act as a catalyst in this sector through UK Export Finance, the country’s export financing agency.
One of the first export credit organizations for sustainability is emerging as UKEF. With £3.6 billion allocated for sustainable projects, UKEF was the ECA that provided the highest funding for sustainable deals last year. An impartial ranking determined it to be the best ECA for sustainable financing.
The UKEF recently unveiled an ambitious set of new emissions reduction targets as well as a new mission statement that places sustainability at the forefront of its goals.
With a history of funding vital projects here and an established solid engagement with Oman, it is anticipated that UKEF will play a significant role in supporting important deals in the country’s renewable energy and sustainable growth sectors.
In conclusion, the UK acknowledges that co-investment, partnership, and collaboration are the keys to a greener and more sustainable future for Oman and the UK. The UK’s offer will continue to assist job creation, economic growth, and prosperity in Oman and the UK. We’re moving forward because the British Embassy in Muscat’s Trade and Investment division is prepared to do so.