Air Products Inks Saudi Green Hydrogen Project

09.07.2020 - US industrial gases group Air Products has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power and the Neom project to build a $5 billion world-scale green hydrogen-based ammonia plant. The facility, which Air Products said would be one of the largest of its kind, will supply 650 t/y of carbon-free hydrogen.

Neom, which describes itself as “an accelerator of human progress and a vision of what a New Future might look like,” is a region in northwest Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea that is being built as a new model for sustainable living, populated and funded by people from all over the world.

The partnership with Acwa and Air Products is the project’s first in the field of renewable energy and, said Neom CEO Nadhmi Al Nasr, it will be the first of many developments at this scale that will “put Neom at the heart of a new future society.”

Owned equally by all three partners, including Air Products, the project will include the integration of over four gigawatts of renewable power from solar, wind and storage. The hydrogen will be produced by electrolysis using thyssenkrupp technology while the nitrogen will be produced by air separation using Air Products technology.

Leveraging the technology of Denmark’s Haldor Topsoe, output of green ammonia will reach 1.2 million t/y. The complex is scheduled to be on stream in 2025.  Exclusive off-taker of the green ammonia, Air Products intends to transport it around the world to be dissociated to produce green hydrogen for the transportation market.

Harnessing the unique profile of Neom’s sun and wind to convert water to hydrogen, Air Products’ chairman, president and CEO Seifi Ghasemi said the project will yield a totally clean source of energy on a massive scale. It also will save the world over three million t of CO2emissions annually and eliminate smog-forming emissions and other pollutants from the equivalent of over 700,000 cars, he said.

Green hydrogen partnership with thyssenkrupp 

In early July, Air Products entered into a strategic agreement with thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers to collaborate exclusively in key regions, using their complementary technology, engineering and project execution capabilities to develop projects supplying green hydrogen.

Thyssenkrupp will provide its technology along with specific services for water electrolysis plants to be built, owned and operated by Air Products. The collaboration supports the US gas group’s development of green hydrogen as an energy carrier for sustainable transportation, chemicals and power generation.

Denis Krude, CEO at thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers, commented: “Large-scale electrolysis is the key technology to connect renewable power to the different sectors of mobility and industry. Already today, we are set to supply one gigawatt for water electrolysis plants per year, and we are prepared to ramp up the capacity in this rapidly evolving market.”