Saudi Arabia has enough natural gas reserves to enable it to produce hydrogen. In September, it already made its first shipment to Japan of “blue hydrogen”.
The most important player on world oil markets, Saudi Arabia does not confine itself to hydrocarbon production – it intends to become a major hydrogen producer, Saudi Energy Minister, Abdulaziz bin Salman told a briefing in Riyadh.
The minister said Saudi Arabia “will not be challenged in its record of being the biggest exporter of hydrogen on earth”. The kingdom, he said, had “ambitious” plans for hydrogen.
The prince said Saudi Arabia had sufficient reserves for hydrogen production.
The first Saudi shipment of “blue hydrogen”,a form of the fuel that captures the carbon dioxide by-product, was sent off to Japan in September.
The country also intends to produce “green hydrogen” – through electrolysis and the use of solar energy. A plant to produce that form of hydrogen is under construction on the Red Sea coast and is due to start operations in 2025.
Saudi Arabia clearly intends to maintain its role as an important supplier of energy – both in terms of traditional hydrocarbons and new renewable energy sources.
The kingdom appears in no hurry to abandon oil. The Saudi Aramco company intends to boost production volumes and appears to discount forecasts of a peak in oil demand.
Blue hydrogen is produced through steam methane reforming which allows emissions to be retained through carbon capture and storage. This process could reduce the amount of carbon emissions by half.