Enowa — the energy, water and hydrogen subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s $500 billion high-tech mega-city Neom — said on Thursday it will set up a new Hydrogen and Innovation Development Centre (HIDC) to boost its research on the clean fuel.
Scheduled to open next year, the new facility is located in Neom’s advanced manufacturing and innovation city. It aims to accelerate lab-to-market solutions in the fields of hydrogen research, green fuel production, utilisation and transport.
HIDC will be a testing ground for new technologies in the clean energy industry and will be a collaborative learning community for research institutions focused on hydrogen and the circular carbon economy, Enowa said.
Neom is becoming one of the global accelerators for the hydrogen economy, Peter Terium, Enowa’s chief executive, said.
“Our ambition is to drive innovation and promote the economic implementation of future clean energy supplies. While the successful activation of ground-breaking technologies is important, fresh thinking and new energy solutions are just as essential,” he added.
Hydrogen, which can be produced from both renewable energy and natural gas, is expected to play a key role in the coming years as economies and industries transition to a low-carbon world to mitigate climate change.
Enowa aims to produce large quantities of green hydrogen that can be adopted by many industries across the kingdom.
Green hydrogen has gained traction amid the energy transition and can be used with various applications as a power source, e-fuel, chemical and fertiliser across many industries.
Using hydrogen fuel cell technology, HIDC's future projects include a filling station and distribution technology for zero-emission cars, buses, lorries and other clean energy applications.
Founded last year, Enowa is supplying water and electricity to the Neom community while providing sustainable fuels such as green hydrogen to international users, all of which are generated locally through processes powered by renewable energy.
It has partnered with various organisations such as Saudi Aramco and Air Products Qudra to fast-track its research and business development.
“We look forward to attracting other global trailblazers to create a new future that will foster the next generation of hydrogen technologies,” Mr Terium said.
HIDC will “validate hydrogen innovations”, Enowa said. It will also work with Aramco on synthetic fuel development.
“This collaboration will enable HIDC to tap into Aramco’s experience in engineering, energy logistics and fuels research and development and to align with Aramco's ongoing efforts to explore the potential for hydrogen-based, low-carbon fuels to support the global energy transition,” Enowa said.
Neom is a perfect place for Aramco to test its in-house technologies, Aramco’s chief technology officer Ahmad Al Khowaiter said.
“Its vast potential to generate wind and solar power also offers a unique opportunity to deliver renewable hydrogen to power the growth of low carbon synthetic fuels while offering a platform to test their commercial viability,” he said.
Neom expects to be the first economy to utilise green hydrogen as power at scale and pave the way for the hydrogen economy globally.