Saudi Arabia will host what’s billed as the world’s biggest green hydrogen project yet planned, with 4GW of renewables powering massive H2 production destined for the world’s future clean bus and truck fleets.
The $5bn project is a three-way joint venture between gases group Air Products, Saudi renewables developer ACWA Power and NEOM, a high-tech regional development initiative under construction near the Red Sea in northwest Saudi Arabia that will host the giant facility.
The development will link 4GW of wind, solar and storage with electrolysis to produce 650 tons per day of hydrogen, said the partners. The hydrogen will in turn be used in the production of 1.2 million tons of green ammonia, which can transported around the world before the H2 is re-extracted to satisfy what the three investors claim will be a $60-70bn annual market for hydrogen mobility by 2030.
While batteries are expected to dominate future green passenger vehicles, the market for hydrogen-fueled heavy haulage and buses looks far more promising. “We are focused on buses and trucks, not passenger cars,” said Air Products, which will be sole offtaker of the green ammonia produced in Saudi Arabia and will invest another $2bn in distribution.
Production from the facility in NEOM is due to begin from 2025, said a statement from the partners that gave no further details of the wind and solar to be used as power sources.
Assuming uninterrupted production, the plant would turn out something like 237,000 tons of green hydrogen a year, and while several projects have laid claim to the title of world’s largest, it would certainly be a contender.
The involvement of two proven international corporations with expertise in the relevant disciplines – Air Products in gases and ACWA in power generation – and the clout of the Saudi government, which is promoting NEOM, also suggests it has a good chance of coming to fruition.