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Oman’s Ambitious Plan to Become a Major Green Hydrogen Exporter

Oman, known primarily as an oil exporter and a popular tourist destination, is quietly positioning itself as a global hub for green hydrogen exports. The sultanate is developing several large-scale green hydrogen projects with the aim of decarbonizing its industries and exporting low-carbon ammonia to other markets. Green hydrogen, produced through electrolysis using renewable energy sources, is a clean fuel that can contribute to a more sustainable energy future.

Oman's strategic location, abundant solar and wind energy resources, and vast land availability make it an ideal candidate for producing low-cost green hydrogen. The country boasts some of the world's most suitable locations for solar and wind power generation, which are key ingredients for producing green hydrogen through electrolysis. Additionally, Oman's existing 4,000km gas pipeline network can be utilized for transporting green hydrogen, significantly reducing infrastructure costs.

The sultanate aims to produce at least one million tonnes of renewable hydrogen annually by 2030, with plans to increase capacity to 3.75 million tonnes by 2040. By 2050, Oman envisions a green hydrogen capacity of 8.5 million tonnes, surpassing Europe's current hydrogen demand. The International Energy Agency predicts that Oman will become the sixth-largest exporter of hydrogen globally and the largest in the Middle East by 2030.

Oman has already made significant progress in attracting investments and partnerships for its green hydrogen projects. Hydrom, a state-run company, signed agreements worth $51 billion with international companies from Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Japan, Singapore, Germany, India, Kuwait, and the UAE. These agreements give Oman a first-mover advantage in the region.

Among the projects under development is Hyport Duqm, a joint venture between Belgium's DEME Group and Oman's state energy company OQ. Another notable project is Green Energy Oman (GEO), a large-scale green hydrogen project developed by an international consortium with Shell as the lead operating partner. GEO is expected to produce 1.8 million tonnes of hydrogen annually at full capacity.

While there are challenges to overcome, such as the high cost of green hydrogen production and the absence of a well-established market, Oman's plans have the potential to make a significant impact. The success of these projects will depend on the global market's appetite for hydrogen and the country's ability to achieve cost competitiveness. With its ambitious goals and favorable conditions, Oman is well-positioned to become a major player in the green hydrogen export market, contributing to a more sustainable and resilient energy future.

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