Oman’s hydrogen alliance to drive national hydrogen economy

Business Saturday 14/August/2021 17:23 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman’s hydrogen alliance to drive national hydrogen economy

Muscat: The Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM) is establishing a national hydrogen alliance (branded as Hy-Fly) to place Oman firmly on the map for the development and deployment of clean hydrogen.

Hy-Fly is made up of 13 key public and private organisations encompassing government bodies, oil and gas operators, educational and research institutes as well as ports who will work together to support and facilitate the production, transport and utilisation of clean hydrogen for domestic use and export. In the run-up to achieving this, the alliance will promote clean hydrogen through investments, technologies, policies, and expertise across the whole hydrogen supply chain.

This will support national energy security, decarbonisation, and ultimately a successful transition to the green economy.  

The alliance will be led by MEM, facilitated by PDO’s Energy Renewal unit, with participation from the Authority for Public Services Regulation, Petroleum Development Oman, Energy Development Oman, OQ, Oman LNG, BP Oman, Oman Shell and Total Energies Oman, Sultan Qaboos University, GUTech and the ports of Sohar and Duqm.

This alliance is seen as a milestone in Oman’s drive to diversify its energy mix while addressing the mounting climate change realities. Hydrogen is believed to have a significant potential to cut greenhouse gases in the sectors responsible for global emissions.

MEM Undersecretary Salim Al Aufi said, “Oman has a world reputation as an established, world-connected and reliable energy producer and exporter, and the country is well placed due to its climate, geo-strategic position and its know-how to drive the shift towards renewables and green hydrogen. The aim of the Hy-Fly is to create a leading national and international industry and Government/public authority alliance to drive the development and deployment of clean hydrogen in line with Oman’s Vision 2040 Energy Diversification Plans.”

The establishment of Hy-Fly comes as one of the outcomes of the ongoing Hydrogen Economy Feasibility Study (HEFS) that is being governed by a MEM-led Steering Committee, constituting various government entities and energy companies.

PDO Managing Director Steve Phimister said, “Over time, hydrogen has the potential to help transform the domestic and global energy sector, alter the way we all produce and consume energy, and address carbon emissions locally and around the world. We are committed to playing a key role in this alliance for hydrogen to drive a pivotal change as we transition to a greener, more sustainable and diversified economy, in line with the Oman 2040 Vision.”

OQ Alternative Energy CEO Dr Salim Al Huthaili said, “Through partnership and collaboration Oman is very well positioned to take a leadership role in the global energy transition stage. Green hydrogen is becoming the molecule of choice to bridge the demand gap as economies continue to grow. This alliance will unify the effort to building capabilities, sharing best practices and setting the tone for global alliances.”

Energy Development Oman Interim CEO Haifa Al Khaifi said: “EDO welcomes the creation of Oman’s hydrogen alliance (Hy-Fly). EDO has indeed defined an ambitious vision to become a leading player in Oman’s energy transition and is therefore committed to being a driving force in the alliance. Global demand for low-carbon blue or green hydrogen is expected to increase significantly over the next 20-25 years, driven by decarbonisation efforts in the industry, transportation as well as in power and heat. Oman has the opportunity to become a major player in future hydrogen markets thanks to its high renewables and CCUS potential, its competitive natural gas production and its geo-strategic position. The establishment of Hy-Fly is a major milestone to ensure Oman develops an ambitious national hydrogen strategy, roadmap and ecosystem.”
VP Wells at BP Oman Mohamed Al Najwani said,

“Clean hydrogen is one of the decarbonisation solutions BP aims to provide to its customers, in support of our new strategy to scale up low-carbon energy businesses. Earlier this year, we announced several clean hydrogen projects in Europe and the UK. By joining this alliance, we are looking to support Oman on its energy transition strategy and explore opportunities in clean hydrogen.”

GUTech Acting Rector Dr Hussain Al Salmi said, “GUtech is committed to and aligned with Oman’s Vision 2040 - Renewable Energy Strategy. We continue to be active pioneers and supporters of Hydrogen related initiatives in Oman, especially Green Hydrogen. We believe that the forming of the National Hydrogen Alliance is a positive step in bringing key stakeholders together and believe that more stakeholders will be added in the future. This alliance gives the industry a discussion platform and a united voice which will help in the development of hydrogen strategies in Oman.”

The alliance will be built upon the principles of partnership, transparency, commitment, communication, collaboration and inclusiveness.