Germany Backs Green Hydrogen Pilot in Saudi Arabia Future City
German state has handed over 1.5 million euro grant to steelmaker Thyssenkrupp’s Uhde Chlorine Engineers’ unit for the development of a prototype of a 20MW alkaline electrolyser for the production of green hydrogen and ammonia in Saudi Arabia. The grant is part of Germany’s national hydrogen strategy that seeks to source green hydrogen from abroad given Germany’s limited space for domestic hydrogen production from renewables. Germany under the scheme earlier this month had handed out a first grant for a synthetic fuel project in Chile.
The Thyssenkrupp unit in a first phase dubbed ‘Element One’ is slated to develop the electrolyser for a hydrogen innovation and development centre in the model region of Neom at the Red Sea, where Saudi Arabia is building as a futuristic high tech city and region. Neom among other things will host massive green hydrogen and renewables projects to make the desert Kingdom less dependent on oil. Yet to be built solar and wind power arrays in a second phase are slated to feed an industrial scale electrolyser plant at Neom to produce up to 650 tonnes of green hydrogen and 3,000 tons of ammonia per day by 2025. Once completed, Helios plant will be one of the world’s largest green hydrogen production facilities. The ammonia, which is easier to store and transport than gaseous hydrogen, will be shipped overseas for reconverting to hydrogen for use as an alternative fuel in transportation.
Neom, a combination of the Greek neos, new, and the first letter of the Arabic word for future, mustaqbal is planned to be a luxury city 33 times the size of New York, with flying cars and taxis, robot servants, holographic teachers, artificial rain, and a giant artificial moon. The development, which will sprawl over 26,500 square kilometers near the Red Sea, was initiated by the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as part his Vision 2030 project. Helios also involves Saudi firm ACWA Power, Air Products & Chemicals and Danish chemical catalysis producer Haldor Topsoe.