A provincial government in Pakistan has granted “comprehensive permission” for the construction of a 400MW green hydrogen project that would be powered by 500MW of wind energy and 700MW of solar, backed up by a battery.
The unnamed facility is being developed by Oracle Energy, a joint venture 70%-owned by Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum — a prominent member of Dubai’s royal family — and 30%-owned by London-based, AIM-listed Oracle Power.
According to a stock market filing, Oracle Power “has received a letter from the Directorate of Alternative Energy of the Government of Sindh confirming that it will issue a Letter of Intent ("LOI") to Oracle regarding the establishment of a 1,200MW hybrid solar/wind, green hydrogen/power project... subject to the provision of a $600,000 performance guarantee by Oracle Energy”.
The project, if operating at full capacity, would produce 55,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year.
“I am delighted to report that our green hydrogen initiative in Pakistan has received confirmation that it will receive the consent of the Government of Sindh through the issuance of an LOI, subject to the provision of a bank guarantee,” said Oracle Power CEO Naheed Memon in a statement.
In an interview with Vox Markets, Memon explained: “The LOI that we’ve got, or that has been approved, to be very clear, is that for... setting up the green hydrogen facility and for possible sale [of excess electricity to third parties],” she said.
“So, it’s a sort of a comprehensive permission from the government to allow us to set up the power generation facility for either captive use or for third-party sales.”
She added: “We are now in the process of fulfilling the requirement they have listed, which is primarily and essentially the bank guarantee, which we give to them and then they issue us the document and that’s it. That completes the formal engagement with the government in order for us to get onto ground.”
It has not been revealed how the green hydrogen produced at the project will be used.
Memon — who is also a director in her family-owned conglomerate, the Kings Group of Industries — was previously chairman of the Sindh government’s board of investment, a position described on Oracle Power’s website as a “provincial minister”.
Oracle Power describes itself as an “international power and natural resource project developer” primarily focused on Pakistan and Western Australia.
Despite claiming to work in an “environmentally responsible fashion”, it also owns the extraction rights to 1.4 billion tonnes of lignite (brown coal) — the dirtiest fossil fuel — in Sindh, where it plans to build a 1.32GW coal-fired power plant.
The company also has licences to search for gold in Western Australia.
Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook at Maktoum's private office “has a portfolio of privately held group companies that focus mainly on infrastructure development, energy projects, LNG terminal development, commodity & oil trading, water desalination, water recirculation as well as education and agricultural projects”, according to its website.