Masdar has signed up to develop green hydrogen in the Suez Canal economic zone. This follows a number of similar agreements from United Arab Emirates-based companies with Egypt.
Masdar and Hassan Allam Utilities signed memorandums of understanding (MoU) with various Egyptian agencies. These include the Suez Canal authority, the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Co. and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt.
The first phase of the plan would be operational by 2026. This would produce 100,000 tonnes per year of methanol for bunkering in the Suez Canal. These would scale up to reach 4 GW of electrolysers, producing 2.3 million tpy of green ammonia, by 2030.
The Green Fuel Alliance struck a deal last week for a 350,000 tpy green ammonia plant. This is focused on bunkering supplies for the Suez Canal traffic. The first phase would be in action by 2026, with the second phase operational by 2030. The alliance involves EDF Renewables and United Arab Emirates’ Zero Waste.
Dubai-based AMEA Power also signed an MoU last week on producing 390,000 tpy of green ammonia in Egypt’s Ain Sokhna.
Masdar chairman, and UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Sultan Al Jaber said the agreement between his company and Egypt demonstrated the strength of the two countries’ relationship.
“These projects will build on the UAE’s and Masdar’s position as an early mover in the global hydrogen market and expand our capacity to deliver zero carbon energy solutions. As our two countries prepare to host the next two COPs, we look forward to working with our partners in Egypt to make practical advances in the energy transition that will provide significant benefits for the economy and the climate,” he said.
Yehia Zaki, chairman of the Suez Canal zone, said the agreement with Masdar was the fifth of its kind in the area.
The zone has “a distinctive location and pivotal ports overlooking the Red and the Mediterranean Sea. SCZONE is qualified to be a regional Hub for ship bunkering. All the companies now are conducting feasibility studies for the projects in detail to sign and announce the actual contracts in coinciding with the COP27 climate summit next November.”
Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said the deals were a “vital step forward in the development of the green hydrogen economy for both the UAE and Egypt, and will play a significant role in our two nations’ decarbonization efforts”.
Egypt intends to include green hydrogen in its 2030 renewable energy strategy, the Masdar statement said. The country intends to publish this by October 2022.
EDF announced its green hydrogen deal in Egypt on April 22. The project involves solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind capacity of 650 MW.
SCZONE’s Zaki said this partnership was a “first step”. He said the project was part of the “adoption of the green ammonia technology and creation of a green fuels’ industrial hub in the SCZONE. We are ready to provide all the support needed to expedite the project’s implementation.”
EDF’s executive vice president Frederic Belloy said the project would be a “milestone” for the region. “Moreover, it will create local job opportunities in the country and will support the decarbonisation process of some of the most intensive carbon producing industries, which are transportation and mobility and are our primary commitment for energy transition.”
The French company has set a policy of reaching 60 GW of net renewable capacity by 2030. This is from 28 GW in 2015.
The Dubai-based developer said its plan would support Egypt’s move to become a hub for “green molecules”.
AMEA said it was working on a number of hydrogen and ammonia projects in the Middle East and Africa.
The company is the largest renewable independent power producer (IPP) in Egypt, with 1,000 MW of solar and wind.
“This is yet again, another great milestone for AMEA Power as we have now signed our first green hydrogen project,” said Hussain Al Nowais, chairman of AMEA Power. “We look forward to developing this project and plan to hit the ground running, combining our efforts as well as those of our partners, to make this project a great success”.