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CGHM2023 Global Launch:

Hydrogen in MENA - Setting Direction for a Booming Hydrogen-based Economy

Hydrogen in MENA - Setting Direction for a Booming Hydrogen-based Economy

“MENA is one of the most dynamic regions for hydrogen and hydrogen derivates worldwide both in terms of clean and green hydrogen development, and there are a number of reasons for that.”

– Mr. Dolf Gielen, Director of Innovation & Technology, IRENA

There’s a globally strong development of hydrogen economy. Approximately 680 hydrogen projects are identified globally as to date (Hydrogen Council), with more that 534 projects aiming for commissining by 2030, underlying USD$ 240 Billion of total investment volume.

The MENA region is well placed to play a key role in this global hydrogen picture in that it has great potential in both green and blue hydrogen, its closeness to markets such as Europe and Asia, as well as its deep expertise and understanding with large energy projects to get finance. Ahead of COP27, we held the IMPACT MENA Live on Oct 26, spotting on the immense potential of hydrogen development in MENA. 

The great insights are brought to you by:

  • IRENA | Mr. Dolf Gielen, Director, Innovation &Technology,

  • Suez Canal Economic Zone | Mr Seif Eldin H. Mustafa, General Manager, Finance and Direct Investment,

  • Türkiye Energy, Nuclear and Mining Research Institution | Dr Celal Erbay, Head of Energy & Technology Policies,

  • Aramco | Mr. Dinesh Singh, Lead Planning and Strategy

  • ReNew Power | Mr. Vivek Singla, President, Head of Green Hydrogen and EV Business,

  • The Sovereign Fund of Egypt | Mr. Karim Badr, CEO- Infrastructure & Utilities Sub-Fund

Our Top 6 Key Takeaways:

1. There’s still some way to go in hydrogen cost reduction.

The Economics of Hydrogen, especially of green hydrogen, there are two cost components, namely the electricity cost and the electrolyzer cost. In terms of eletricity cost, at this moment to produce 1kg of hydrogen approaximately 50-55kwh of green electrictiy are needed, equating to $1 of cost price. In terms of electrolyzers, the current cost stands at somewhere between $800-1200/kw, but expected to be halved to $500-600/kw, by the end of decade. (note: transportation cost are not discussed here)

2. Very rapid development of ammonia as hydrogen trade vector

Ammonia can be used as nitrogen fertilizer, as green hydrogen carrie, and as a fuel in shipping and power generation. The  announced renewable ammonia projects by 2030 has the potential to produce around 15-80 Mt/yr. Among 27 latest MENA hydrogen project, 18 of them explicitly mentioned the production of ammonia and international transport carrier, testifying the much attention towards the vector.

3. SCZONE are working by leaps & bounds to be the Green fuel Hub of MENA and of World

In order to facilitate the development of green hydrogen hub, the Egyptian government has structured and assigned all relevant public stakeholders to deal with green hydrogen producers in two segement. No. 1) The upstream sector inclusive of Renewable Energy Generation and Grid Connectivity, under the supervision of Ministry of Electricty and Renewable Energy, and No. 2) The midstream sector unfolded around the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), consisting of full hydrogen production, storage, and transport chain. Up to date, approximately 12GW-50GW of renewable will be development under signed signed MoUs. On the part of SCZone, mega plans with respect to water desalination, industry complex, utility corridor, storage facility, and liquid bulk terminal.

4. Turkey could possibly rise as MENA’s newest star in terms of H2Tech Manufacturing Centre

Turkey has concluded its hydrogen technology strategy and is planing to publish for about next month. The competitve edge of Turkey to gain a strong place in global hydrogen market lies on two factors mainly - 1)The Geopolitical posiition linking to Europe, and 2) Renewable energy source potential. As of Sept 2022), around 53% of Turkey’s energy supply is powered by renewables, predominantly by hydropower, and an increasing share of solar, wind and geothermal, which provide the country with considerable potential to be the hydrogen production hub supplying Europe. But more importantly, the core strength of Turkey is its manufacturing track record as one of Europe's largest wind turbine, tower and blade manufaturers and solar panel manufacturers. And now, the country also hopes to expand in hydrogen arena.

5. Blue or green, it ultimately depends on the country’s resource endowment

There is a long-standing debate about the color of blue vs green. However, concerning which color should be supported at national level, it needs to take into account the actual resource endowment of a country. If the country lacks natural gas resources, green hydrogen is undoubtedly the ultimate choice from the perspective of energy security. But if a country has natural gas resources, choosing blue hydrogen is a more approachable and affordable option. An alternative to kickstart the Green hydrogen business is to fix a price signal or “green premium” to make econonic sense of it. By at the end of the day, both blue and green are energy forms complementing each other in our climate combat rather opposing each other.

6. Bankability is not an IRR game but the ability to uniting credible partners and walk the talk

On the path toward commercialization, investors and banks are taking a critical role, especially in terms of the provision of funds, equity, and project advisory services. The global hydrogen industry chain is increasingly united to make sure that more projects can see the light with multi-lateral and cross-sectoral collaboration and partnerships.

The IMPACT MENA acts as the global launch conference for 2nd Connecting Green Hydrogen MENA 2023, to be taken place in Dubai, UAE on March 14-16, 2023. With 1000+ hydrogen industry professional, 80+ world-class speakers, and 50+ exhibitors, the CCHM is at the forefront of expediting the development of green hydrogen in MENA and uniting global business partnerships.

Insights Brought to You by:

Dolf Gielen

Director, Innovation and Technology

International Renewable Energy Agency

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Dr Celal Erbay

Head of Energy & Technology Policies


Türkiye Energy, Nuclear and Mining Research Institution

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Dinesh Singh

Lead Planning and Strategy



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Seif Eldin H. Mustafa

 General Manager, Finance and Direct Investment


Suez Canal Economic Zone

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Karim Badr

CEO - Infrastructure & Utilities Sub-Fund

The Sovereign Fund of Egypt

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Vivek Singla

President, Hydrogen and EV Businesses


ReNew Power

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Organizing Contact:

Molly Huang

+86 1560 177 4853

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