Abu Dhabi National Oil Company has joined the Hydrogen Council, an international body looking to accelerate the use of the clean fuel as the UAE ramps up efforts to decarbonise its economy.
The announcement follows Adnoc's decision earlier this year to substantially increase the production of hydrogen, an alternative clean fuel that is being prioritised for investment by oil exporters in the Middle East.
“Energy demand continues to increase as global populations expand and economic development accelerates. With an energy transition taking place, this means that more energy is needed with fewer emissions," said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and managing director and group chief executive at Adnoc.
"Adnoc is an early pioneer in the emerging market for hydrogen and its carrier fuels such as blue ammonia, driving the UAE’s leadership in creating international hydrogen value chains and a local hydrogen ecosystem," he said.
The Hydrogen Council, launched in 2017, includes some of the world's leading energy companies as its members.
Around 18 per cent of global energy demand is expected to come from hydrogen by 2050, according to the council.
More than 30 countries have already issued hydrogen road maps as part of plans to decarbonise their economies and there are currently 228 large-scale projects under way in the sector.
Earlier this year, Adnoc, Mubadala and holding company ADQ formed an alliance to develop a hydrogen economy in the UAE.
Adnoc already produces 300,000 tonnes of hydrogen on an annual basis for its downstream operations and plans to increase its output significantly.
The company plans to expand its manufacturing capacity for the clean gas to more than 500,000 tonnes.
In May, Adnoc announced plans to build a massive blue ammonia project at its downstream hub of Ruwais as part of plans to accelerate hydrogen output.
Blue ammonia is a more easily transportable fuel source made from blue hydrogen, a byproduct of carbon dioxide that has been captured and stored. The blue aspect refers to hydrogen that is derived from natural gas feedstocks.
The 1,000 kilotonne plant is currently in its design phase.
Earlier this month, the Abu Dhabi company signed a joint study agreement with three Japanese companies to explore the commercial production of blue ammonia in the UAE.
The UAE is drawing up a comprehensive road map to position itself as an exporter of hydrogen and tap into the clean fuel’s potential.
Hydrogen has an estimated $11 trillion market potential, according to Bank of America Securities, and is expected to generate $2.5tn in direct revenues and $11tn of indirect infrastructure by 2050 as its production increases six-fold.
Other UAE-based entities are also looking to capitalise on hydrogen's clean energy potential. Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, also known as Taqa, and Abu Dhabi Ports announced plans to develop a 2 gigawatt green ammonia project in the UAE.
Green ammonia will be produced using a solar photovoltaic plant to power an electrolyser that will produce green hydrogen, which will then be processed into liquid ammonia. The green ammonia will be used in ships as bunker fuel and for export from Abu Dhabi Ports through gas carriers.