MAY 4, 2024

Salalah Port gears up for new role as Oman’s hydrogen export hub

MUSCAT: Last week’s award of two new green hydrogen blocks in Dhofar Governorate, to a pair of international consortiums, has firmed up a leading role for the Port of Salalah as an important gateway for green molecule exports from the Sultanate of Oman.

The winning consortiums were: (a) EDF Group, J-POWER and Yamna, and (b) Actis and Fortescue. Both have committed to producing an aggregate of 378,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per annum by 2030, with part of the output targeted for export to international markets via the Port of Salalah.

Earlier in December 2023, Hydrom – the orchestrator of the green hydrogen industry in Oman – signed a similar agreement with the SalalaH2 consortium for the development of a renewable hydrogen project in Dhofar Governorate. SalalaH2 comprises Marubeni Corporation, OQ Alternative Energy, Dutco and Samsung C&T Corporation.

All three ventures are due to set up their respective downstream components in Salalah Free Zone, and export part of their production in the form of hydrogen derivatives, via the adjoining Salalah Port. In effect, Salalah Port is set to become the second hub for green molecule exports, complementing the Port of Duqm, which is the designated hub for exports from hydrogen projects – five in all to date - located in Al Wusta Governorate.

In remarks to the Observer, Salalah Port CEO Keld Mosgaard Christensen, said the port is committed to playing its part in the crystallisation of Oman’s green hydrogen ambitions.

“We are delighted that Port of Salalah will play a pivotal role as the gateway for green molecules exports with the recent announcement of two new projects in Salalah,” said the CEO. “This marks a significant milestone for Oman, and we take pride in our contribution towards fostering a sustainable planet. These developments not only benefit the nation but also propel us closer to our sustainability goals as a port. We remain committed to furthering our efforts in this direction and look forward to the positive impact these projects will have on the global trade, environment and community.”

In anticipation of the project awards, Salalah Port has working closely with various government agencies to ensure that the requisite terminal infrastructure is designed and rolled out in a timely and cost-effective manner.

“We have been diligently collaborating with Hydrom throughout the process, and now with the agreements finalized, our focus shifts to working closely with the awarded companies to understand their specific needs. This collaboration will enable us to tailor our infrastructure to serve as a terminal operator effectively. While timelines will be influenced by various factors, including regulatory requirements and project complexities, rest assured, we are committed to initiating groundwork as swiftly as possible,” said Christensen.

Furthermore, as the port gears up to shoulder its new role, there are potential opportunities for collaboration with key stakeholders, notably AP Moller Maersk, which is spearheading green fuel conversion initiatives for its fleet, according to the CEO.

“As our largest customer and a leader in sustainable practices, Maersk's expertise and capabilities can undoubtedly support Salalah Port in our green initiatives. Given Salalah's strategic position as one of their key hubs, there is clear potential to leverage their resources and knowledge. As the Port of Salalah, we are fully committed to facilitating and nurturing this collaboration for the mutual benefit of the port and Oman as a whole,” he added.

Source: Oman Observer