Chinese firm in Moroccan hydrogen partnership

Shanghai-listed Energy China International Construction Group is set to develop a major green hydrogen project in Morocco.

The project aims to produce 1.4 million tonnes per annum of green ammonia, equivalent to about 320,000 tonnes of green hydrogen, with a 2 GW photovoltaic solar plant and a 4 GW wind power project. 

The new build will be located in the south of the North African nation and is being developed in partnership with Saudi Ajlan Brothers and Morocco’s Gaia Energy. 

Energy China International Construction Group claimed that its green hydrogen project in the country is an ambitious and promising initiative that has the potential to provide clean energy to southern Morocco and Europe while reducing carbon emissions. 

It added that it is also a significant step towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and represents an important development in the transition to a sustainable energy future.

The Memorandum of Understanding also calls for the project partners to operate and maintain the facilities after completion.

Based in Benslimane, Morocco, Gaia Energy specialises in renewable energy development projects.

Last year the company signed strategic agreement with Israeli company H2Pro to co-develop a gigawatt-scale green hydrogen project, starting with a pilot project using 10-20 MW-scale H2Pro electrolyser technology. 

The deal follows the roadmap on green hydrogen produced in 2021 by the Moroccan Ministry of Energy, Mines and Environment under the National Hydrogen Commission (itself created in 2019). 

The country is expecting a demand up to 30 TWh by 2030 and 307 TWh by 2050, that would require 2GW in renewable energy sources.

The strategy is based on three pillars: recommendations to create better export and storage conditions; local industrial integration; and investment that identifies possible clusters. Morocco says it is building on an established renewable energy model and its geographical positioning, with proximity to Europe and pre-established energy infrastructure.

The strategy also strongly supports the local production of ammonia, an industry where Morocco has so far relied on imported ammonia to meet its needs.