Adnoc begins construction of Middle East’s first high-speed hydrogen refuelling station

Abu Dhabi-based energy company has entered into a partnership with Toyota and Al-Futtaim Motors

A hydrogen-powered vehicle. Adnoc's new hydrogen refuelling station will be in Masdar City. Photo: Adnoc
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Adnoc has begun construction of the “Middle East’s first” high-speed hydrogen refuelling station.

The station, which is being built in Masdar City by the state-owned energy company, will create clean hydrogen from water, using an electrolyser powered by clean grid electricity, Adnoc said on Tuesday.

Adnoc has also entered into a partnership with Japanese car maker Toyota and Al-Futtaim Motors to test the refuelling station using a fleet of clean hydrogen-powered vehicles.

“The need to reduce carbon emissions to address climate change is clear and urgent,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Cop28 President-designate.

“Adnoc is placing sustainability and decarbonisation at the heart of its strategy and, while we decarbonise our operations today, we are making robust investments to be a supplier of choice for the clean energies of tomorrow,” said Dr Al Jaber, also Adnoc managing director and group chief executive.

“Hydrogen will be a critical fuel for the energy transition, helping to decarbonise economies at scale, and it is a natural extension of our core business.

“Through this pilot programme, we will gather important data on how hydrogen transportation technology performs as we continue to develop the UAE’s hydrogen infrastructure.”

Adnoc Distribution, the UAE’s largest fuel and convenience retailer, will operate the station upon its completion later this year.

A second station, in Dubai Golf City, will be fitted with a conventional hydrogen fuelling system, Adnoc said, without providing further details.

Hydrogen, which can be produced from renewable energy and natural gas, is expected to become a critical fuel as economies and industries transition to a low-carbon world.

It comes in various forms, including blue, green and grey. Blue and grey hydrogen are produced from natural gas while green hydrogen is derived from splitting water molecules through electrolysis.

Adnoc has allocated $15 billion to invest in a range of projects by 2030, which will help it to hasten its low-carbon growth strategy.

This includes clean power, carbon capture and storage, further electrification of operations, energy efficiency and new measures to build on its policy of zero-routine gas flaring.

The company aims to use new technology to capture and store carbon dioxide by leveraging the UAE’s geological properties.

The UAE is investing heavily in clean energy projects and has announced several initiatives as it seeks to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

The country is developing clean energy projects such as the Barakah nuclear plant, a two-gigawatt solar plant in Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra region and the five-gigawatt Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.

This month, the UAE Cabinet also approved the updated version of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 and the development of the National Hydrogen Strategy.

Under the updated objectives of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, the Arab world’s second-largest economy will invest Dh200 billion ($54 billion) by 2030 to ensure energy demand is met while sustaining economic growth.

The UAE aims to produce 1.4 million metric tonnes of hydrogen annually by 2031 and 15 million metric tonnes every year by 2050.

Investment in clean energy is set to hit $1.7 trillion this year, outpacing spending on fossil fuels, as countries look to address potential energy shortages, according to the International Energy Agency.

Global energy investment is projected to reach $2.8 trillion in 2023, with more than 60 per cent allocated for clean technology, including renewables, electric vehicles, nuclear power and heat pumps, the Paris-based agency said in its World Energy Investment report in May.

Updated: July 18, 2023, 8:09 AM