Engie of France and Masdar, an Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company, have formed a strategic cooperation to create green hydrogen projects. The firms announced the partnership at the End of last week, saying it will “explore the co-development of a UAE-based green hydrogen center.”
While the plan’s finer specifics are scarce, the companies intend to create plants with electrolyzer capacities of up to 2 gigatonnes. The program will cost around $5 billion to implement. Engie CEO Catherine MacGregor praised renewable hydrogen as “an crucial instrument for the energy transition” in a statement.
Engie and Masdar stated that they will “first target local supply, with the goal of boosting capacity to build a giga-scale green hydrogen hub for the GCC, with the possibility to export to other markets.”
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is made up of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman. Hydrogen has a wide range of uses and may be used in a variety of sectors. It can be made in a variety of ways. Electrolysis, in which an electric current splits water into oxygen and hydrogen, is one approach. If the power utilized in this process is generated by a renewable source such as wind or solar, it is referred to as green or renewable hydrogen.
The United Arab Emirates, a member of the oil cartel OPEC, is a major petroleum and gas producer. It also has a plenty of sunlight, which is essential for solar power installations.
In May, the “first industrial scale, solar-driven green hydrogen factory in the Middle East and North Africa” was launched in Dubai.
Siemens Energy announced at the time that electricity for the experimental project will come from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, a massive solar installation with a production capacity of 5,000 megawatts by 2030.
The Engie-Masdar agreement, announced on Friday, came on the heels of news that Spanish power provider Iberdrola and Sweden’s H2 Green Steel will collaborate to build a large facility to manufacture green hydrogen.
Last Thursday, the companies announced a 2.3 billion euro ($2.6 billion) agreement to build a green hydrogen factory with a 1 gigatonne electrolysis capacity. While there is enthusiasm about the possibilities of hydrogen, several business executives are wary about judging its prospects, at least in the short term.
Enel CEO Francesco Starace, for example, stated in July that “there is no rivalry for investments between hydrogen and renewables.”
“Today, hydrogen is a niche, and it is a niche that has to evolve into commercial Norm and into… large industry, competitive price,” Starace stated, indicating that such a change would most likely take ten years.