On March 14-16, 2023, Leader Associates hosted the Connecting Green Hydrogen MENA 2023 conference, a leading event dedicated to accelerating a green hydrogen future in MENA. The conference brought together industry leaders, policy makers, and experts to discuss the latest advancements and innovations in the field of hydrogen technology.
The conference's H2 Innovate Next stream was chaired by Jeffrey Beyer, Managing Director of Zest Associates, who welcomed attendees to the event and emphasized the importance of hydrogen technology and innovation. "We will explore the latest developments in hydrogen fuel cells, storage, and other key technologies that are driving the growth of this promising sector," he said.
The session's keynote speaker, Eng. Nawal Alhanaee, Director of Future Energy at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOEI), UAE, previewed the UAE's new Hydrogen Strategy, being developed by the MOEI and set for publication in April 2023. The strategy will be structured around 10 main elements:
Legislation, policy and investment,
Finance and investment
Industry development and activation
Sustainable commercial and economic models
Research and innovation
Climate and social drivers
Resources and assets
The strategy envisages between 4 and 10 Mt / year of hydrogen consumption in the UAE by 2050, mostly focused on hard-to-abate sectors including aviation, shipping, heavy road transport, power storage, industrial heat and steel, and oil refining and ammonia.
Alhanaee reiterated the UAE's goal of capturing 25% of the global export market for hydrogen by 2030. It will also play a key part of insights and vision of the future of the industry and the UAE's roadmap to achieving sustainability goals.
Javier Doblas, Partner at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), moderated the first panel on "Ramping up Hydrogen Production, Transport Storage" with panellists (left to right) Kiichiro Fujimoto, General Manager, Infrastructure Solution Department, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mohamed Hasan, Industry Director - Energy & Sustainability Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Microsoft, and Ola Engehagen, Chief Commercial Officer- UMOE, Emirates E&I LLC. The panel discussed the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in hydrogen production, transport, and storage and how they are driving the growth of the industry.
The second panel on Implementing CCUS and Low-Carbon Hydrogen Solutions for Decarbonization explored the challenges and opportunities in decarbonizing heavy industries and transportation with green hydrogen and how CCUS and low-carbon hydrogen solutions can play a crucial role in achieving this goal.
It was moderated by Prakruthi Gowda, Senior Associate at Clifford Chance (centre), and featured panelists (left to right) Fadhl Zayed Fadhl Ahmed, Decarbonization Leader, Emirates Steel Arkan; Jamy Zakharia, BD Manager, New Energy Services, Petrofac, Ito Tadashi, Head of Decarbonization Advancement Office, Chiyoda Corporation, and Cristopher Sagar, Chief Engineer Middle East, Atkins.
The conference also featured two Technical Box's by Rajesh D. Sharma, Global Marketing Director for the Schneider Electric, and by Wietse ter Veld, Green Hydrogen Expert, Atkins. Rajesh discussed key challenges and solutions in achieving scalable green hydrogen production. Wietse used a case study example to take the audience through realistic challenges and complications facing the development of a new ammonia facility. He outlined constraints that projects encounter in reality, from intermittent renewables to hydrogen storage issues to energy losses from compression and regassifaction.
In addition to the informative sessions and panel discussions, the conference also provided opportunities for networking and collaboration. The Luncheon & Networking session allowed attendees to connect with each other and explore new opportunities for collaboration and innovation.
Overall, the Connecting Green Hydrogen MENA 2023 conference was an informative and productive event that showcased the latest advancements and innovations in the field of hydrogen technology and its role in driving the growth of the green hydrogen industry.
It was an excellent platform for experts, innovators, and industry leaders to connect, share ideas, and collaborate towards building a sustainable and clean energy future for the Middle East and North Africa region. We look forward to the next edition of this event, hosted by Leader Associates, and the continued growth and success of the green hydrogen industry in the region.