Thyssenkrupp awarded German grant to build green hydrogen prototype in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s futuristic city, Neom to host massive hydrogen production facility powered by Thyssenkrupp’s 20 MW electrolyser

As part of Germany’s national hydrogen strategy, Thyssenkrupp’s Uhde Chlorine Engineer’s Unit has been given the grant to develop a 20MW electrolyser prototype for a green hydrogen plant in Saudi Arabia. Given Germany’s geographical limitations on producing green hydrogen, it has dedicated over 20% of its hydrogen strategy funds to sourcing the gas from abroad. Thyssenkrupp’s prototype will be used to power ‘Helios’, one of the world’s largest green hydrogen production facilities in Neom, a futuristic city being envisioned near the Red Sea.

In a bid to make the country less dependent on oil, Neom has planned huge projects to develop green hydrogen and renewable energy. Its vast tracts of desert and near-constant wind and sunshine make it ideal for producing the vast amounts of renewable energy that green hydrogen requires for its production. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy producer ACWA Power and Neom announced a joint venture with Air Products & Chemicals, an American gas company to produce 4GW of wind and solar energy. This $5bn project will be linked to Thyssenkrupp’s electrolyser.

The Economics and Energy Ministry of Germany has stated that by 2025, solar and wind plants to be built at Neom are expected to enable Thyssenkrup’s electrolyser to produce around 3,000 tonnes of ammonia and 650 tonnes of green hydrogen daily. Green hydrogen has gained traction particularly because of its promising ability to power carbon-heavy sectors such as steel, cement and transportation. Once the ammonia is converted back to hydrogen, Germany plans to use the gas to power its transport sector.

This is Germany’s second international venture to source green hydrogen. Earlier this month, Siemens and Porsche announced a collaborative effort to set up a wind-powered hydrogen production facility in Chile. This pilot facility will be used by the company-partners to produce synthetic fuel.