Muscat: In a move set to harness the expertise of Omani and global organisations in search of a greener future, OQ Alternative Energy (OQAE) has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with Asyad Group, A.P. Moller-Maersk and Sumitomo Corporation Middle East FZE (SCME) to conduct a joint feasibility study of green fuel bunkering in Oman.
The MoC, confirmed on the side-lines of the Green Hydrogen Summit Oman 2022, signals the intention to explore the commercial and technical viability of e-ammonia and/or e-methanol bunkering at the port of Duqm and/or Salalah, for bunkering operations in Oman ports and potentially to other export markets.
The study will be split into two phases: the first will focus on the project’s commercial viability, while the second will examine green fuel ship-to-ship bunkering operations and green fuel loading operations in Oman ports. The second phase will also establish an accurate and realistic timeframe for commencing green fuel bunkering operations in Oman, taking into consideration the technical readiness of critical green fuel-related equipment and the regulatory framework required.
“This is a big step forward to further explore Oman’s promising potential in Green fuels for the shipping industry that can position the country as one of the main bunkering hubs in the region,” said Najla Zuhair Al Jamali, OQ Alternative Energy Chief Executive. “The collaborative venture will bring together some of the most talented minds in the sector from Oman and across the world to work closely alongside OQ AE, allowing us to assess the best ways to achieve a responsible, green economy.”
Championing Oman’s energy transition journey, OQ AE will work hand in hand with Asyad Group, Oman’s flagship global integrated logistics service provider, which provides logistics solutions across ports, free zones and shipping; global integrated logistics company A.P. Moller-Maerskwhich has the ambition to decarbonise its entire business by 2040; and SCME, a member of the Sumitomo Corporation Group which is a Fortune 500 global trading and business investment company.
Christopher Cook, Area Managing Director, UAE said: “At A.P. Moller-Maersk, we are working hard to decarbonise our footprint across global supply chains. For our ocean activities, we have so far ordered 19 large container vessels to run on green fuels and we have engaged in partnerships to accelerate green fuel production. To succeed there is a critical need to link these efforts - that means enabling green bunkering opportunities in strategic shipping locations. We are pleased to work with renowned companies in this field to create valuable experiences and pave the way for green fuel bunkering infrastructure in Oman.”
Hajime Mori, Managing Director of Sumitomo Corporation Middle East FZE, added, “We are delighted to cooperate on green fuel bunkering in Oman with OQ Alternative Energy, Asyad Group and A.P. Moller-Maersk. In line with our basic environment policy that aims to make the Sumitomo Corporation Group carbon neutral in 2050, we would like to pursue this business with partners to achieve our common goal.”
“Asyad Group is actively working towards shaping new decarbonisation pathways for the maritime industry. Our ports are uniquely positioned to become globally significant bunkering hubs that will bolster regional development,” said Essam Al Sheibany, VP of Sustainability at Asyad Group.
“The importance of global collaboration cannot be overstated when it comes to forging ahead in efforts to decarbonise our industry, and we are thrilled to come together with such a broad variety of industry partners to advance the case for green fuel bunkering and its feasibility in Oman. This is a positive step on the path to decarbonisation and creating a responsible energy landscape.”
This Memorandum of Cooperation is the latest significant development for OQ AE in efforts to help the Sultanate deliver its National Energy Strategy, which aims to generate at least 30 per cent of its power from renewables by 2030. It follows OQ AE’s successful participation at COP27, the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, in November in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
According to Oxford Analytica, Oman has the clearest strategy in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for the development of green hydrogen. The hydrogen sector will become a key contributor to Oman’s GDP and external balances by 2030. With several large-scale green hydrogen projects already announced, OQ AE’s efforts have the potential to generate more than 30 GW of renewable energy in Oman. The organisation is driving over $40 billion worth of investment into green hydrogen projects such as HYPORT Duqm, H2Oman, SalalaH2, and Green Energy Oman (GEO).