Indian renewables developer ACME unveiled a $3.5bn plan to build one of the world’s largest green ammonia projects in Oman.

ACME plans to tap 3GW of solar and 500MW of wind for the integrated hydrogen and ammonia project in the Special Economic Zone at the Port of Duqm on the Arabian Gulf.

Green ammonia produced using renewable H2 is seen as among the most promising areas for the emerging ‘power-to-X’ sector, thanks to its efficiency as a carrier of hydrogen and potential to decarbonise areas such as fertiliser production and shipping fuels.

ACME – which is currently building a pilot integrated hydrogen and ammonia plant powered by 5MW of solar in India – hopes an initial phase of the Oman plant could be operating by as soon as the end of next year after signing a land agreement with the government there.

The full-scale plant would produce about 900,000 tonnes of green ammonia annually, exporting to demand centres in Europe and Asia.

Oman has emerged as a favourite prospect for developers planning massive future production of hydrogen and other green fuels linked to renewable energy.

German utility Uniper and Belgian contractor DEME are part of plans to site up to 500MW of electrolyser capacity for green fuels production, also at Duqm.

A consortium of Oman’s state energy company OQ, developer InterContinental Energy and Kuwait-based Enertech want to tap 25GW of wind and solar for green hydrogen, in what would be one of the world’s largest renewable energy projects.

Germany and other EU states have said they plan to import vast volumes of green hydrogen or its derivatives, given the lack of physical space in Europe to install the massive amounts of renewable energy needed to hit the bloc’s net zero ambition by 2050.

However, some analysts have raised questions about the viability of such massive projects, especially the cost assumptions underlying the electrolysers needed for the process and whether wind and solar can provide the ultra-cheap power needed to make them operate efficiently.

ACME’s announcement comes soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he wants India itself to become a huge hub of green hydrogen production and consumption.