Saudi Arabia and China in Central Asia hydrogen first

Saudi-listed ACWA Power and Chinese state-owned PowerChina agreed to work together to build the first green hydrogen plant in Central Asia, the companies said.

The plant, in Uzbekistan, will produce 3,000 metric tons per year of green hydrogen and will be powered by a wind farm, according to announcements on the companies’ websites on Thursday. The hydrogen will be used to produce 500,000 tons per year of ammonia fertiliser, replacing 33 million cubic meters of natural gas.

PowerChina, the general contractor for the project, said it was the company’s first overseas green hydrogen project and also the first in Central Asia to reach the implementation stage.

PowerChina also said the plant was an important energy project within China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

 Over half of China’s energy investment under BRI is now going to renewable energy, Fudan University researchers said earlier this year.

China has a target to produce 100,000 to 200,000 tons per year of green hydrogen, which is key to decarbonisng heavy industry sectors such as steel-making, cement and fertilisers.

ACWA Power develops power generation and desalinated water plants, with assets across the Gulf and north Africa. In September, its Chairman Mohammad Abunayyan signed MOUs with state-owned China Southern Power Grid and wind turbine maker Mingyang Smart Energy to cooperate on clean energy technologies.