Fertiglobe picks Plug Power to build 100MW green hydrogen electrolyser for Egypt plant

Plant will produce up to 90,000 tonnes of green ammonia

Fertiglobe, the chemicals joint venture by Netherlands-listed OCI and Adnoc, selected Plug Power to build a 100-megawatt electrolyser to produce green hydrogen that will be used in ammonia production in Egypt.

Fertiglobe is developing the plant in Ain Sokhna with partners Scatec, Orascom Construction and The Sovereign Fund of Egypt.

Orascom Construction joined the consortium on Wednesday to develop Egypt’s first green hydrogen project.

The plant will produce up to 90,000 tonnes of green ammonia. The chemical compound is an easily transportable form of hydrogen, which serves as an alternative fuel in the transport sector, as well as in decarbonising the grid in Japan.

“At start-up, this will be the largest green hydrogen and largest green ammonia application globally," OCI executive chairman Nassef Sawiris said.

"Construction is expected to follow an accelerated schedule to showcase the green hydrogen facility during Cop27 in Egypt in November 2022, highlighting Egypt’s and Fertiglobe’s growing leadership in the renewable energy markets and commitment to a greener future.”

The Egyptian plant is "a huge step forward" in reaching net zero emissions by 2050, Fertiglobe chief executive Ahmed El Hoshy said.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, aims to generate 42 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2035 while delivering one of the lowest generation tariffs.

Earlier this year, state-owned Egyptian Electricity Holding Company signed an agreement with Germany's Siemens Energy to develop an hydrogen-based industry focused on exports in the country.

The companies will develop a pilot project with an electrolyser capacity of 100MW to 200MW to drive early technology development, search for potential off-takers and also define logistics.

Fertiglobe is also developing a large blue ammonia plant in the UAE’s downstream centre in Ruwais. The plant will have a production capacity of 1,000 kilotonnes a year.

Blue ammonia is a chemical compound produced using hydrogen through steam methane reformation.

Gulf oil exporters are increasingly prioritising the development of hydrogen, a cleaner fuel that is considered a viable tool for decarbonisation.

Fertiglobe listed 13.8 per cent of the company’s shares on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in October. The company raised $795 million through its share float, which was the third-largest on the ADX this year.

Fertiglobe attracted three cornerstone investors with commitments of $231m. They include the Abu Dhabi Pension Fund, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC and San Francisco-based activist investor Inclusive Capital Partners.

OCI controls the majority stake in Fertiglobe, with Adnoc holding 36.2 per cent of the joint venture's share capital.

The company's net profit for the three-month period to the end of September climbed to $137.7m, from $6.2m in the previous year, it said earlier this month.

Updated: November 24th 2021, 9:50 AM
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