NEOM ramps up green hydrogen

By Dominic Ellis
NEOM, ACWA Power and Air Products will operate green hydrogen facility at Saudi Megaproject, with supplies from thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers

Air Products has awarded thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers a contract to supply a 2GW-plus electrolysis plant for one of the world's largest green hydrogen projects at NEOM, the Saudi Arabia megaproject.

thyssenkrupp will engineer, procure and fabricate the plant based on their large-scale 20MW alkaline water electrolysis module. Upon commissioning, the project partners - NEOM, ACWA Power and Air Products - will operate the facility, which will produce hydrogen to be synthesised into carbon-free ammonia for export exclusively by Air Products to global markets. Engineering and procurement activities have been initiated, and the start of production is scheduled for 2026. 

In July 2020, Air Products, together with ACWA Power and NEOM, announced the signing of an agreement for green hydrogen-based ammonia production facility powered by renewable energy. thyssenkrupp was selected by its strategic partner Air Products early in the project as technology supplier and has worked intensively on early engineering and project development.

The signing of the project contract is a key milestone of both companies' joint effort over the past year to use their complementary technology, engineering and project execution strengths to develop green hydrogen production facilities. The realization of the project leverages thyssenkrupp's large-scale technology supporting Air Products' development of green hydrogen for sustainable transportation, chemicals and power generation.

Dr. Samir J. Serhan, Chief Operating Officer at Air Products, says: "This project milestone with thyssenkrupp furthers our strong progress at NEOM to deliver carbon-free hydrogen on a massive scale in the Kingdom and for the world. The development and execution of this innovative megaproject is one of many required to drive a successful energy transition, and we look forward to continuing to develop, build, own and operate facilities that help address the world's significant energy and environmental challenges. This project is the kickoff to become a frontrunner in the green hydrogen economy."

"As a world market leader in electrolysis we bring in two decisive factors to realise such gigawatt projects: With our large-scale standard module size and gigawatt cell manufacturing capacity per year together with our Joint Venture partner De Nora we are able to deliver large capacity projects today," said Denis Krude, CEO of thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers.

"With this gigawatt project, we are committed to invest into ramping up our manufacturing capacities further. We also aim for a strong local setup which is key to delivering customised service solutions throughout the entire plant life-cycle and enables our strategic partner in their vision to become a global decarbonisation pioneer."

thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers, a joint venture with Industrie De Nora, operates more than 600 projects with a total rating of over 10GW already successfully installed. With its water electrolysis technology to produce green hydrogen, the company offers an innovative solution on an industrial scale for green value chains and an industry fueled by clean energy.

Air Products is a leading industrial gases company in operation for 80 years, providing essential industrial gases, related equipment and applications expertise to customers in dozens of industries, including refining, chemical, metals, electronics, manufacturing, and food and beverage. The company had fiscal 2021 sales of $10.3 billion from operations in over 50 countries and has a current market capitalisation of over $65 billion. 

NEOM recently launched a joint venture with Volocopter to operate the world's first bespoke public vertical mobility system and has ordered 15 aircraft to start flight operations within the next two-to-three years.

Last month NEOM unveiled OXAGON, which will unify the port, logistics and rail delivery and provide net-zero carbon emissions, setting global benchmarks in technology and environmental sustainability.

Oracle has been announced as the first tenant of NEOM's hyperscale data center.

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