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Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Egypt moves closer to getting its first waste-to-hydrogen plant

H2 Industries says it on the way to establishing Egypt’s first waste-to-hydrogen plant in East Port Said after it recently received preliminary approval from the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) for the project, it said in a statement yesterday. The plant will cost around USD 3 bn to establish, executive chairman Michael Stusch told The National.

H2 Industries says the 1 GW facility will produce 300k tonnes of hydrogen each year at half the cost of current production technologies, consuming 4 mn tonnes of organic waste and non-recyclable plastics in the process.

The company has not made clear how it plans to finance the USD 3 bn facility, nor has it made clear other significant project details. The SCZone does not appear to have issued any statement about the H2 Industries project, although it did release a statement a week ago touting its attractiveness as a destination of investment in “green hydrogen industries” following a visit by UK Ambassador Gareth Bailey and UN climate official Nigel Topping.

The first waste-to-hydrogen plant on this scale: “The exciting part of the project is that it is the first big-scale, waste-to-hydrogen plant for a huge amount of hydrogen,” Stusch said in the statement. Waste-to-hydrogen technology is still in its infancy — we know of no operational large-scale W2H plant in operation, though some are set to come online this year. Get in touch if you know otherwise.

Whose waste? The “tons of waste that collects in Egypt” will be “secured at the Mediterranean entrance to the [Suez] canal,” the statement reads, without further clarification.

About the company: Headquartered in New York, H2 Industries is a global hydrogen generation and energy storage solutions company, with a focus on developing technologies that generate, store, transport and release green hydrogen.

Egypt is looking to burnish its green hydrogen credentials ahead of this year’s COP27 climate summit in Sharm El Sheikh with projects that could be worth USD 3-4 bn. The country’s first plant — a 100 MW facility being constructed in Ain Sokhna by a developer consortium of Orascom Construction, Norway’s Scatec, Nassif Sawiris-backed Fertiglobe, and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt— will be showcased at the global gathering and is expected to come online in 2024. The Electricity Ministry is also looking to work with international consultants to help it put together a 12-month development strategy for the local industry, which is also attracting names such as Siemens, Eni, General Electric and ThyssenKrupp.

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