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Ahrary and El Ramahy

Masdar, Verbund to explore green hydrogen production in Spain

DUBAI, December 7, 2023

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC – Masdar, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, and Verbund Green Hydrogen have signed a deal to explore developing a green hydrogen plant in central Spain. The collaboration aims at decarbonising Europe’s hard-to-abate sectors.
 
As world leaders negotiate at the UN’s Climate Change Conference COP28 in the UAE, clean energy pioneers Masdar and Verbund Green Hydrogen GmbH moved forward with plans to analyse the feasibility of building one of Europe’s largest green hydrogen production plants.  
 
Harnessing the abundant renewable resources of Castilla-La Mancha region, the prospective plant will aim to generate green hydrogen to cover industrial demand in Spain and central Europe. The study will evaluate if green hydrogen produced at the plant has the potential to displace up to 1 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually, equivalent of removing around 700,000 cars from the road every year.
 
The agreement was signed by Mohammad Abdelqader El Ramahi, Masdar’s Chief Green Hydrogen Officer and Hamead Ahrary, Managing Director of Verbund Green Hydrogen GmbH during COP28 in Expo City Dubai. It cements an earlier pact, signed between the companies during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2023, to explore green hydrogen opportunities to cover European demand.
 
Using renewables
Green hydrogen is produced using electricity from renewable sources whereby the water is separated into oxygen and hydrogen, via the process of electrolysis. It is intended that the proposed plant will produce green hydrogen using renewable energy generated by solar power plants, potentially including Masdar’s planned gigawatt-scale solar plant in Castilla-La Mancha, and onshore wind farms. The project is expected to stimulate job creation and boost green industry in the sparsely populated area.  
 
El Ramahi said: “As one of Europe’s largest planned green hydrogen production plants, the project aims to produce green hydrogen to help decarbonise the continent’s hard-to-abate industries while creating jobs and tapping into the region’s enormous solar and wind potential. Our successful collaboration on this project paves the way for further development of green hydrogen and a vital pipeline linking centres of production with end-use markets. 
 
“At COP28, as the world looks for ways to accelerate the journey to net zero, partnerships such as this serve as a powerful example of what can be achieved if we work together with purpose and at pace.”
 
Growth potential
There is huge growth potential for green hydrogen in Europe. Spain currently consumes around 500,000 tonnes of mainly traditional fuel derived ‘gray’ hydrogen per year, which could be gradually replaced with green hydrogen. By 2035, Austria alone is expected to require around 600,000 tonnes per year of clean hydrogen. 
 
Michael Strugl, Chief Executive Officer of Verbund, said: "The goal is to identify the subsequent way forward towards large-scale hydrogen production in Spain. Partnerships like this are essential to jointly ramp up the European hydrogen market to meet decarbonisation goals.”
 
Ahrary added: “The Spanish market plays a vital role for us, both for the development of local H2 production, as well as for future potential import to central Europe. The joint study will generate valuable insights for the feasibility and execution of a potential project, which would result in the further strengthened positioning of Verbund in the Spanish market. Hence, we are looking forward to the results of this study.”
 
Hard-to-abate sectors
The green hydrogen produced is expected to be used to decarbonise Spain or Europe’s hard-to-abate sectors, which could include steel production, fertilisers, chemicals, heavy transportation, and aviation. Currently, steelmaking alone is responsible for 5 percent of European carbon emissions. With most European Union nations pledging to become carbon neutral by 2050, green hydrogen presents a powerful vehicle for achieving that aim.  
 
Expected to be operational by the end of the decade, the planned green hydrogen plant will serve the industrial sector and has the potential to help decarbonise heavy transportation in Spain as well as in central Europe.--TradeArabia News Service
 



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