Air Products intends to power the massive facility using 4 gigawatts of the country’s renewable energy.
American industrial gas giant Air Products & Chemicals announced its intentions to construct a massive Saudi green hydrogen plant that would be powered by 4 gigawatts of the country’s wind and solar energy.
This will make the plant the largest H2 project announced in the world to date.
The Saudi green hydrogen project will cost an estimated $5 billion to construct. It will be jointly owned by Air Products and ACWA Power and Neom in Saudi Arabi. Neom is a tremendous new city planned near the country’s borders with Egypt and Jordan.
Once the plant is completed, it will produce a daily 650 tons of green H2. This is enough renewable energy to power approximately 20,000 buses that run on the fuel, said Air Products. From there, it will be shipped in the form of ammonia to various markets around the world before conversion back into hydrogen again. Ammonia production is slated to begin in five years.
This new Saudi green hydrogen project is viewed as a vital step forward in its ambitions for Neom.
The Middle Eastern country is seeking to make Neom a global center for green hydrogen and renewable energy as a whole. It is positioning Neom to become a special economic zone. The idea would be to host 1 million people from other countries worldwide.
“This is a pivotal moment for the development of Neom and a key element in Saudi Vision 2030 contributing to the Kingdom’s clean energy and circular carbon economy strategy,” said Nadhmi Al Nasr, Neom CEO, in a prepared statement.
Air Products CEO Seifi Ghasemi explained that the American company is confident that this will be a viable renewable energy project even without receiving subsidies. The reason given was that the world was in the midst of a rapid shift toward low-carbon transport fuels. That said, Ghasemi added that if the project did receive government support, it would be “icing on the cake.”
“There are 260 million commercial vehicles in the world. If 1 percent converts to hydrogen, you end up with huge numbers that would require 50 plants like this,” explained Ghasemi about the need for projects like the Saudi green hydrogen plant. “We’ve been working on this for four years, and our strategy was to be the first to build a mega-scale plant.”