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UAE and Egypt to develop large-scale green hydrogen project in Mauritania

German investment firm Conjuncta on Wednesday announced a new green hydrogen project involving the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Mauritania.

Conjuncta said it signed a memorandum of understanding with Egyptian renewable energy company Infinity, UAE renewable energy company Masdar and the Mauritanian government to build a green hydrogen plant in the North African country. The plant will be located northeast of the capital Nouakchott and will have a capacity of 10 GW. This is equivalent to 8 million tons of green hydrogen per year. The facility will also produce ammonia or fuel produced at the plant, which will be exported, Conjuncta said, according to a press release.

“Our country is determined to play a leading role in the global map of green hydrogen economy in the coming decades. We firmly believe that the development of Mauritania’s green hydrogen industry will bring environmental, economic and social benefits to our country and the world. The world,” Abdessalam Ould, Minister of Energy of Mauritania Mohamed Saleh said.

Reuters reported that the total value of the deal was $34 billion.

What does it mean: When hydrogen is separated from water by electricity, it can be used as an energy source. When this electricity is powered by renewable energy sources such as solar or wind, it is known as green hydrogen.

Ammonia, a compound of hydrogen and nitrogen, is also used as an energy source. Green ammonia is produced through renewable energy. Blue ammonia refers to ammonia, whereby the carbon dioxide used in the process is captured and stored.

Conjuncta did not provide further details about its plans to produce fuel from plants, but plant matter can be used for energy. An example is sustainable aviation fuel.

Why it matters: Green hydrogen has the potential to reduce carbon emissions because it is produced through renewable energy.Masdar, owned by UAE sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, has shown Strong interest in green hydrogen potential on the African continent.At the COP27 climate change conference last November, Masdar released a report on Africa’s green hydrogen potential. Africa’s abundance of sun and wind energy means it offers renewable energy possibilities.

Producing green hydrogen can be challenging in Africa due to its relative lack of development. For example, in Mauritania, only about 47 percent of the population had access to electricity as of 2020, according to the World Bank.

Earlier this week, Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, called for faster transition to renewable energy. He made the remarks at an energy conference in the United States.

learn more: Several energy companies are also interested in Egypt’s green hydrogen potential. Last December, British Petroleum (BP) and the Egyptian government signed a memorandum of understanding to build a green hydrogen plant in Egypt, according to a BP press release.

What’s next: According to Conjuncta, the first phase of the plant will have a capacity of 400 MW and is “expected” to be operational by 2028.

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