March 2, 2024

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) has entered a deal for the establishment of domestic electrolyzer manufacturing to produce green hydrogen as part of the United Arab Emirates’ net zero strategy.

The collaboration with John Cockerill Hydrogen and Strata Manufacturing PJSC will be key to making the country a global leader in hydrogen production, Ismail Ali Abdulla, managing director and chief executive of Al-Ain city-based Strata Manufacturing, said in an ADNOC press release.

The agreement, announced at a forum to promote the Middle Eastern country’s local industry, eyes both local distribution and export.

Ranging from portable equipment to large-scale plants, electrolyzers split water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity. Hydrogen derived using this process, known as electrolysis, is called green if the electrolyzer runs on renewable energy. As an alternative to fossil fuels, green hydrogen can help reduce planet-warming emissions.

“Hydrogen is a critical fuel in the energy transition and this agreement underscores how the energy sector can work with the industrial and hard-to-abate sectors to decarbonize at scale, drive low-carbon economic growth and enhance energy security”, Hanan Balalaa, ADNOC senior vice-president for new energies and carbon capture, utilization and storage, said in the announcement.

“ADNOC will continue to advance lower-carbon solutions and decarbonization technologies to strengthen our position as a responsible energy provider and support the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative”.

The two local companies’ partnership with Belgium-headquartered John Cockerill was unveiled at the annual “Make it in the Emirates” industrial investment fair.

“The arrangements intended to be put in place as contemplated by the agreement enhances [sic] the development of the UAE’s green hydrogen economy through the in-country manufacturing of electrolyzers and supports [sic] the UAE’s ‘Make it in the Emirates’ initiative to promote local industry and create a favorable environment for investors”, the release stated.

Seeing hydrogen as a key industry of the future, Industry and Advanced Technology Undersecretary Omar Al-Suwaidi, who witnessed the signing ceremony, said: “Accelerating the development of future industries is one of the main objectives of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology. Therefore, the ministry is committed to ensuring the national industrial sector benefits from innovative solutions and advanced technologies that support the expansion of future industries.

“Stimulating cooperation between leading national companies and international and local manufacturers is key to these efforts, which reinforces the industrial sector’s contribution to decarbonization in line with the UAE’s net zero and COP28 targets”.

Later this year the UAE hosts the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP), the main decision-making forum of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

COP28 president Ahmed Al-Jaber, who is ADNOC chief executive, told the May 2-3 Petersburg Climate Dialogue countries need to “encourage smart government regulation to jumpstart the hydrogen value chain and make carbon capture commercially viable”, among other strategies to rein in climate change.

While facing opposition to its hosting over its rights record, the UAE has billed COP28 as a venue to advance urgent ambitious measures.

“At COP28 I expect ambitious, transparent and accountable commitments from all countries and businesses that will shape policies in parliaments and budgets and boardrooms”, Al-Jaber told the Berlin dialogue.

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