Massive Power-to-H2 plant in Oman could boost Shipping’s electric fuel supply
InterContinental Energy, the developer of the Australian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) megaproject, has announced a new combined wind and solar power plant in Oman. With the support of Kuwaiti and Omani public energy companies, InterContinental plans to build a 25 gigawatt hydrogen-powered renewable power plant that will take advantage of the intense sun and steady winds from central Oman to manufacture H2 and valuable and transportable ammonia. The announcement has potential implications for shipping, as it dramatically increases the volume of confirmed supply for one of the industry’s most anticipated future fuels.
Considering the quality of the resource base and the location next to international shipping lanes on the Arabian Sea, the consortium expects to be able to deliver its energy products to the market at a very competitive price. The hydrogen could be used locally; compressed and liquefied for further transport; or transformed into green ammonia for use as a fuel, fertilizer, industrial product or means of transporting H2 (the hydrogen can be extracted again from the ammonia if desired). The giant project could produce 1.8 million tonnes per year of green hydrogen and up to 10 million tonnes per year of green ammonia – roughly doubling InterContinental’s portfolio.
According to the Hydrogen Council, green hydrogen is expected to grow into a $ 2.5 trillion market by 2050. Demand is coming from the shipping industry, which increasingly sees green ammonia as a future. fuel of choice; the aviation sector, which can opt for green hydrogen-based electrofuels; difficult-to-decarbonize rail and trucking operations; and the steel and petrochemical industries. Electric utilities in Japan have also signaled plans to import green ammonia as an alternative to coal and natural gas.
The site will be located in Oman’s central Al Wusta governorate (in red, left), a coastal province that receives only half an inch of rain per year and experiences average daily temperatures of 110 degrees F in the summer. It is quite sunny and it is reliably windy at night – an ideal profile for a combined wind and solar power plant. The project site is located near the coast, providing access to seawater for electrolysis.
“This is an important milestone in our mission to deliver competitive zero carbon fuels on an unprecedented scale to meet rapidly growing global demand across all industries,” said Alicia Eastman, Co-Founder and President of InterContinental Energy. “It is only by decarbonizing fuels as well as electrons that the world will meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement.”
(Map image courtesy NordNordWest / CC BY SA 3.0)