Renewables

Engie, Masdar set up USD 5 billion green hydrogen partnership

Firms France UAE USD 5 billion green hydrogen Masdar Engie

Photo: Masdar

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December 9, 2021

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Published:

December 9, 2021

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Engie and Masdar, major players in the energy transition sector on a global scale, placed a joint bet on the role of green hydrogen. The two companies established a strategic alliance which they say would be worth USD 5 billion, for facilities with a total capacity of 2 GW.

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. (Masdar) of the United Arab Emirates and France-based energy company Engie signed a strategic alliance agreement. They said they would work on creating a giga-scale green hydrogen hub for the Middle Eastern Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region including the potential for exports.

The ceremony was held in the UAE in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. The companies said they would explore the codevelopment of a UAE-based green hydrogen hub. They are looking to reach a capacity of at least 2 GW by 2030 in the GCC bloc of countries.

Total investment in the region is estimated at USD 5 billion, according to the announcement. The GCC consists of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.

Renewable hydrogen is essential for energy transition

“We are very pleased to partner with Masdar to make a direct contribution to the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 strategic initiative. This strategic alliance illustrates Engie’s ambitious goals for the long-term development of renewable hydrogen, an essential tool for the energy transition,” the French multinational firm’s Chief Executive Officer Catherine MacGregor said.

Green or renewable hydrogen is a gas produced from water by electrolysis using electricity from renewable energy plants

Masdar is wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Co., which is in turn controlled by the Abu Dhabi emirate. Masdar advances solutions in energy, water, urban development and clean technologies. With its partner Taaleri, it is active in Southeastern Europe, among other markets.

Engie, headquartered in La Défense in the Paris suburb of Courbevoie, is focused on the energy transition, but it also has assets in the sectors of gas, nuclear power and oil. As for the region tracked by Balkan Green Energy News, it is developing floating wind farm projects in Greece.

Race between gas, green hydrogen, carbon capture technologies

Green or renewable hydrogen is a gas produced from water by electrolysis using electricity from renewable energy plants. It is still an emerging technology but there are estimates that it could relatively soon rival gray hydrogen, which is sequestered from fossil gas. Such systems are becoming more expensive because of the costs of carbon emission certificates.

If carbon dioxide is captured during the same process, the fuel is called blue hydrogen. Carbon capture and storage solutions are also in an early stage of development and they generally cost more than CO2 permits.

The deal in the UAE was signed right after Iberdrola from Spain and H2 Green Steel from Sweden said they would jointly invest EUR 2.3 billion in a green hydrogen production system of 1 GW. They said it would be used to manufacture steel in the Iberian Peninsula.

Of note, Siemens Energy and its local partners in Dubai unveiled a pilot plant project in May for green hydrogen.

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