German firms sign deals in UAE as Berlin seeks alternative energy supplies

Adnoc expands strategic partnerships across the hydrogen value chain with leading German companies

By Staff Report

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The deals were signed during a visit by German Economy Minister Robert Habeck to Gulf states to discuss long-term energy supplies. — Supplied photo
The deals were signed during a visit by German Economy Minister Robert Habeck to Gulf states to discuss long-term energy supplies. — Supplied photo

Published: Mon 21 Mar 2022, 4:56 PM

German companies have signed agreements with firms in the UAE to build up a hydrogen supply chain, Germany’s economy ministry said on Monday, as Berlin looks to cut carbon emissions and reduce its reliance on Russian energy.

The deals were signed during a visit by German Economy Minister Robert Habeck to Gulf states to discuss long-term energy supplies. Berlin is investing in cleaner energy and aiming to cut its reliance on Russian energy as part of Western efforts to put pressure on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

Germany’s Hydrogenious and Uniper, along with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and Japan’s Jera, will undertake a joint demonstration project for hydrogen transport, the ministry said in a statement.

The agreement aims to build a supply chain of hydrogen produced by renewable energy from the UAE to Wilhelmshaven in Germany, based on Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC) technology.

Collaboration on clean hydrogen

Adnoc announced that it has signed new memorandum of understanding (MoU) and joint study agreements (JSA) with counterparts in Germany in order to accelerate and deepen collaboration in clean hydrogen.

As part of its ambitious decarbonisation drive, the German government’s National Hydrogen Strategy expects clean hydrogen demand of up to three million tons per annum (Mtpa) by 2030, of which around 60 per cent is expected to be imported. Demand may grow to over 11Mtpa by 2050.

Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Adnoc managing director and Group CEO, said the UAE and Germany have a deep, longstanding bilateral relationship and a growing partnership in clean energy, helping to enable and accelerate the global energy transition.

“At Adnoc , we have ambitious growth plans for clean hydrogen, a critical tool in efforts to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors, which we are actively delivering on to meet demand in Asia, and through today’s partnerships, Europe as well. We remain committed to working with like-minded partners across the public and private sectors to implement tangible projects that will supply the world’s energy needs, while reducing carbon emissions and the carbon intensity of the energy that supports our everyday lives,” he said.

Robert Habeck underlined the importance of the Emirati-German cooperation for advancing on climate action.

“The accelerated scale-up of hydrogen supply chains is key for our transition to sustainable energy and for achieving the decarbonisation goals in line with our commitments under the Paris Agreement. Today’s agreements signal a decisive milestone towards meeting our climate action ambitions,” he said.

More deal signed

Adnoc also signed contracts with German copper manufacturer Aurubis and energy firms RWE, Steag and GEWEC to ship so-called blue ammonia — a low carbon method of producing the compound — to Germany. Hamburger Hafen & Logistik AG (HHLA) and Adnoc will cooperate to transport the blue ammonia.

The CEO of Thyssenkrupp, which hopes to list its hydrogen unit Nucera on the stock market this year, accompanied Habeck on the trip.

Additionally, German research organisation the Fraunhofer Society and the Emirati ministry of energy and infrastructure agreed to deepen the exchange of expertise in sustainable energy and applied hydrogen technology.

Highlights of the deals

> Adnoc is an early mover in decarbonisation and the production of clean hydrogen, supporting the UAE’s ambition to supply up to 25% of imported hydrogen in key global markets

> Expanded German partnerships build on Adnoc’s strong position in Asian clean hydrogen markets, setting the stage for similarly fruitful commercial relationships in Europe

> Germany’s national hydrogen strategy expects approximately 3Mtpa of clean hydrogen demand by 2030 and up to 11Mtpa by 2050, a significant percentage of which is expected to be imported

> New collaboration and low-carbon ammonia test cargo agreements announced during the visit to the UAE of Dr Robert Habeck, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

— With inputs from Reuters

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