RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power has signed a memorandum of understanding with Austrian electricity firm Verbund to potentially develop green hydrogen projects in the Middle East.
Verbund will use the hydrogen produced by the region’s projects as a renewable energy source for Central Europe, primarily Austria, as per the MOU.
“Today’s announcement is another illustration of our enduring commitment to bring ingenuity and entrepreneurship together to ensure power is generated reliably, responsibly, and sustainably at the global level,” ACWA Power Chairman Mohammad Abunayyan said in a press statement.
The arrangement between Verbund and the Saudi developer, investor, and operator took place during the currently ongoing Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
Abunayyan added: “In collaboration with Verbund, we are excited to jointly explore the possibilities to deliver green hydrogen to Central Europe with a primary focus on Austria on a consistent basis.”
He said the move will not only support nations in their energy transition efforts, but also drive social development, industrial advancement, and economic growth across the region.
Since green hydrogen is created by electrolysis of water using solely renewable energy sources and has no carbon dioxide emissions, it stands as the cleanest and most efficient fuel globally and an impactful tool for addressing climate change.
Michael Strugl, the CEO of Verbund, noted that the Austrian firm is one of the largest producers of hydroelectricity in Europe. “With our portfolio of renewable energy production, transportation of electricity and gas as well as energy trading and services, we cover the whole energy value chain. Green hydrogen is a logical next step.”
Although the collaboration between ACWA Power and Verbund has only just begun, the two parties said they are well-positioned to drive project progression quickly, partly due to ACWA Power’s ongoing green hydrogen activities and involvement.
For instance, ACWA Power’s involvement in the NEOM Green Hydrogen Co. portrays the company’s capabilities to add a lot to the collaboration.
NGHC, which is a joint venture equally owned by ACWA Power, Air Products and NEOM, is working on the first at-scale green hydrogen project in the world.
Set to be complete by 2026, the scheme is expected to produce up to 600 tons per day of carbon-free green hydrogen in the form of green ammonia. This will be used as a low-cost substitute for current transportation methods.
“Verbund's technological capabilities and over 75 years of hydropower expertise, combined with ACWA Power’s green hydrogen knowledge, experience, and operations, will help ensure that the MoU’s objectives, terms, and aspirations are met moving forward,” concluded the press release.