Egypt Considers a Potential USD 1 Billion Green Hydrogen Plant Deal

Egypt Considers a Potential USD 1 Billion Green Hydrogen Plant Deal

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Switzerland’s Smartenergy eyes Egypt for a green hydrogen investment opportunity worth USD 1 billion. The expansion would be the firm’s first outside Europe.

The company is at the later stages of negotiations with the Egyptian government to build a green hydrogen plant, a source confirmed to Asharq Al-Aswsat.

According to Smartenergy’s Chief Financial Officer René Cotting, the agreement between both parties will soon be ratified. However, he did not provide any additional information on the matter.

Sources mentioned that the agreement was initially scheduled to be signed some time ago, but delays occurred due to certain procedures concerning new land licenses and issuance dates.

A source from the Egyptian government later confirmed that the agreement is set to be signed in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Founded in 2011 and based in Wollerau, Switzerland, Smartenergy specializes in investments in renewable energy and other related ventures. The company invests in solar, wind, and green hydrogen energy projects in several European countries, including Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

So, What is Green Hydrogen?

The demand for hydrogen as a fuel source has tripled since 1975, reaching 95 million tons per year in 2022. Conventional production techniques using coal and oil currently contribute to over two percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

As the damage done by climate change spreads even further, green hydrogen stands out as an environmentally friendly energy option, emitting only water vapor and leaving no harmful residue in the atmosphere.

Switching to green hydrogen could save the world the annual emission of 830 million tonnes of carbon dioxide associated with fossil fuel-based hydrogen production.

Green hydrogen refers to hydrogen gas produced by electrolysis, where water molecules are split into hydrogen and oxygen using an electric current. The electricity used in this process is generated from renewable energy sources like wind, solar, hydro, or geothermal power. Because the electricity comes from clean and renewable sources, the hydrogen produced is considered environmentally friendly and does not produce greenhouse gas emissions during its production.

Egypt: A Regional Green Energy Hub

The upcoming Smartenergy deal complements previous government efforts to transform Egypt into a regional green energy hub. During COP27, which took place in November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egyptian officials signed framework agreements for green hydrogen and ammonia plants worth USD 83 billion.

The agreements include establishing nine green hydrogen and ammonia plants in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. Once fully operational, these facilities are expected to collectively produce up to 7.6 million tons of green ammonia and 2.7 million tons of hydrogen annually.

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