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Sunday, 7 November 2021

Big global players eye hydrogen investment in Egypt

Eni, General Electric and ThyssenKrupp have all bid to establish hydrogen plants in Egypt, the Arabic-language energy website Attaqa reports, citing what it says are sources familiar with the matter. The bids are worth a collective USD 2 bn and concern facilities that would produce both green and blue forms of hydrogen, the sources said.

BP is not among the those bidding a company representative told Enterprise after the publication of an earlier version of this story in EnterpriseAM, our morning newsletter.

Some bids were accompanied by financing offers from European banks, including the German development bank KfW, the European Investment Bank and the International Finance Corporation, one senior government official told the website.

Policymakers in Egypt have been taking green hydrogen increasingly seriously over the past 12 months, holding talks with a number of international firms about establishing a local industry that has the potential to grow into a key part of the country’s energy mix. Siemens is already on board to set up a pilot green hydrogen production plant, while Norwegian renewable energy company Scatec announced last month that it will build a 50-100 MW green hydrogen facility in Ain Sokhna, in partnership with Nassef Sawiris-backed ammonia producer Fertiglobe and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt. Eni is working with state gas company Egas to produce feasibility studies for manufacturing blue and green hydrogen.

Green v blue: Green hydrogen is hydrogen produced via electrolysis of water, powered by renewable energy sources. In contrast, blue hydrogen is created using methane in natural gas, making it less environmentally-friendly because of its energy source and the CO2 emissions created during the production process.

What’s next? A ministerial committee tasked with overseeing the country’s hydrogen strategy will study each of the bids submitted, which will be followed by consultations regarding the technical and financial aspects of the projects.

** Check out our explainer on green hydrogen for more.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was corrected on 8 November 2021 to remove BP from the list of energy companies bidding on the hydrogen plants. BP has not placed a bid, company representatives told us.

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