RIYADH: Energy giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co. has entered into an agreement with ENOWA, NEOM’s energy and water company, to establish a synthetic electro-fuel demonstration plant in the Kingdom.
The joint development agreement was signed on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Tuesday.
The facility will be located in ENOWA’s Hydrogen Innovation and Development Center.
As part of the deal, NEOM will oversee the plant’s construction, while Aramco and ENOWA will jointly manage operations and invest in relevant research programs.
The primary aim of this initiative is to showcase the technical feasibility and commercial viability by producing 35 barrels per day of low-carbon synthetic gasoline using renewable-based hydrogen and capture of carbon dioxide, according to a press statement.
Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, Aramco’s executive vice president for technology and innovation, said: “Synthetic fuels can play an important role to accelerate the decarbonization of the global vehicle fleet. We are excited to be working alongside our partners to demonstrate a potential path toward realizing this vision.”
The e-fuel technology, based on a circular carbon economy approach, has the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 70 percent throughout its entire life cycle, compared to conventional fuels, the press release added.
Upon completion, the integrated facility is expected to generate 12 tons of synthetic methanol per day from green hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Subsequently, this synthetic methanol will be converted into low-carbon gasoline with the assistance of ExxonMobil’s Fluidized-Bed Methanol-to-Gasoline technology.
Peter Terium, CEO of ENOWA, said: “This partnership represents another significant milestone for ENOWA. As Saudi Arabia cements its global leadership role in a circular carbon economy driven by green hydrogen, we have an unprecedented opportunity to showcase the transformative capabilities of pioneering, sustainable technologies.”
He added: “ENOWA is looking forward to collaborating with Aramco in the development of a state-of-the-art facility for e-fuels in NEOM, which will drive innovation and promote the economic implementation of future clean energy supplies.”
Roland Kaeppner, ENOWA’s managing director of hydrogen and green fuels, affirmed that this development agreement underscores the company’s commitment to supporting Saudi Arabia’s efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The Kingdom has set net-zero targets by 2060, while Aramco aims to achieve net-zero emissions in all its operations by 2050.