Neom subsidiary says HIDC will be a testing ground for new technologies in the clean energy industry
Neom energy, water and hydrogen subsidiary Enowa has established what is billed as the region’s first hydrogen and innovation development centre (HIDC). It will be one of the first tenants at Neom’s manufacturing and innovation city, Oxagon, and aims to accelerate lab to market solutions and business development across the spectrum of hydrogen, green fuel production, utilisation and transport.
According to a statement from Neom, HIDC will be a testing ground for new technologies in the clean energy industry and a collaborative learning community for research institutions focused on hydrogen and the circular carbon economy (CCE). Through these collaborations, HIDC will look to produce and adopt decarbonised and clean synthetic fuels in partnership with Saudi Aramco. The new facility will fast-track the Kingdom’s goal to become a global hub of innovation and clean energy.
Scheduled to open in 2023, HIDC will gather operational data from the facility’s first 20MW electrolyser from Thyssenkrupp Nucera, which will be used in the world’s largest green hydrogen and ammonia plant operated by Neom Green Hydrogen Company (NGHC). HIDC will also advance Enowa’s plans with Air Products Qudra for H2 mobility to test advanced hydrogen-fuel cell-based mobility and logistics solutions in Neom, the statement explained.
“Neom is fast becoming one of the global accelerators for the hydrogen economy. Our ambition is to drive innovation and promote the economic implementation of future clean energy supplies. While the successful activation of ground-breaking technologies is important, fresh thinking and new energy solutions are just as essential. Our recent MoUs with NGHC, Saudi Aramco and Air Products Qudra demonstrate our tangible progress on this front. We look forward to attracting global trailblazers to create a new future that will foster the next generation of hydrogen technologies,” said Enowa CEO Peter Terium.
Located at Oxagon’s dedicated Research and Innovation District, HIDC will attract talents from around the world to live, work and innovate in a dynamic and modern ecosystem. The facility’s unique location fosters innovation and out-of-the-box thinking that will create a blueprint for the future and act as a catalyst for global start-ups focused on green hydrogen technologies and synthetic fuels, he added.
Vishal Wanchoo, CEO of Oxagon and head of manufacturing at Neom added, “The need to address some of humanity’s most pressing challenges has spurred the next wave of investment in key technologies. Oxagon’s dedicated research and innovation district will be the new home for innovators, leading brands and the brightest minds who want to stress-test, accelerate and commercialise the next generation of solutions and products.”
He added, “Oxagon is the ideal site for the region’s first state-of-the-art Hydrogen and Innovation Development Center to foster innovation across the spectrum of hydrogen, green fuel production, utilisation and transportation, accelerating these innovations from lab to advanced manufacturing and production facilities that can then be commercialised and exported.”
According to Neom, HIDC’s pipeline of projects will feature a filling station and distribution technology for zero-emission cars, buses, trucks and other clean energy applications, taking advantage of the rapid commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell technology. Together with Aramco, Air Products and ACWA Power, HIDC will validate hydrogen innovations, demonstrating the potential for upscaling across the Kingdom and around the globe.
In addition, HIDC will collaborate closely with Aramco on synthetic fuels development. By leveraging HIDC’s capabilities in green hydrogen, Aramco will seek to fast-track development of its flagship in-house synthetic fuels program and demonstrate the commercial and technical feasibility of synthetic fuel production, the statement explained.
The collaboration will also enable HIDC to tap into Aramco’s experience in engineering, energy logistics and fuels research and development and to align with Aramco’s ongoing efforts to explore the potential for hydrogen-based low carbon fuels to support the global energy transition, Neom said.
Aramco CTO Ahmad Al Khowaiter remarked, “With a new vision of future living, Neom is a perfect place for Aramco to explore and test the boundaries of our in-house cutting-edge technologies. Its vast potential to generate wind and solar power also offers a unique opportunity to deliver renewable hydrogen to power the growth of low carbon synthetic fuels while offering a platform to test their commercial viability.”
With Neom’s solar, wind and water resources, Enowa said it can produce large quantities of green hydrogen that can be adopted by multiple industries across the kingdom. In recent years, green hydrogen has gained increased recognition as the next wave in the energy transition, with various applications as a power source, e-fuel, chemical and fertilizer across many industries. Neom expects to be the first economy to utilize green hydrogen as power at scale and pave the way for the hydrogen economy globally, the statement concluded.