Saudi Arabia's Neom and ACWA Power sign $5 billion agreement with Air Products

Neom. (Screengrab: Neom website.)

Saudi Arabia's Neom and ACWA Power signed on Tuesday a $5 billion agreement with Air Products for the development of the world’s largest renewable-powered production facility in the Kingdom’s planned smart city, Neom.

The new agreement will create the world’s largest green hydrogen project that will supply 650 tons per day of carbon-free hydrogen for transportation globally, saving the world 3 million tons per year of carbon dioxide, or CO2, according to a Neom press release.

Once completed, the futuristic Neom will be the largest carbon-free system and a global hub for renewable energy, say project developers. The city will also be the first city in the world to feature a range of smart features, from smart water to smart temperature.

“The joint venture project is the first partnership for Neom with leading international and national partners in the renewable energy field and it will be a cornerstone for its strategy to become a major player in the global hydrogen market. It is based on proven, world-class technology and will include the innovative integration of over four gigawatts of renewable power from solar, wind and storage,” the press release read.

Air Products, a company that deals with process gases, equipment and services, “will be the exclusive off-taker of the green ammonia and intends to transport it around the world to be dissociated to produce green hydrogen for the transportation market,” according to the press release.

“This partnership reflects our deep commitment to developing a carbon positive society which will be a beacon for sustainable living and a solution to many of the environmental challenges facing the world. This demonstrates the ability of Neom to generate significant partnership opportunities for international and national investors,” Nadhmi al-Nasr, Neom CEO said.

Neom is one of several major tourism projects under development alongside others including the Red Sea Development Project, Qiddiyah, and al-Diriyah Gate.

The Red Sea Project is a much-anticipated tourist destination being developed in the Kingdom, where the ultra-luxurious and sustainable development is set to host resorts on 50 islands off the coast of the Red Sea. It will also be accessible by 80 percent of the world’s population in less than eight hours.

Qiddiyah is a mega-theme park that is also being developed and is an hour’s drive from Riyadh. It expects to attract 1.5 million visitors each year when the first phase opens in 2022.

As Saudi Arabia looks to diversify its economy under its ambitious Vision 2030 plan, the country is looking to expand its tourism sector and has opened the country’s doors to international tourists within the last year.

The tourism ministry is expected to introduce 260,000 jobs during the next three years.

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Last Update: Thursday, 09 July 2020 KSA 12:22 - GMT 09:22
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