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Saudi Aramco official cautious on global hydrogen demand outlook
6/27/2021 12:00:00 AM

The global outlook for hydrogen demand through to 2030 remains uncertain despite hopes of a "world scale" market, Ahmed al-Khowaiter, Saudi Aramco's chief technology officer said June 27.

"The 2030 world scale is not very large compared with today," said Khowaiter, at an Aramco media event. "The reason is the infrastructure and demand are not there yet. The regulatory infrastructure that prices the blue hydrogen isn't in place in most countries."
Saudi Aramco had recently been touting its plans to produce blue and green ammonia and hydrogen. Khowaiter had previously said that the oil giant is aiming for its hydrogen business to be "world scale" by the end of the decade.
"We hope that by 2030 there will be the market demand, and we will be ready to supply that demand at a world scale," Khowaiter said. He added that Aramco has a target volume of hydrogen it will be able to produce by then, but the company will not publicly disclose what that number is.
Achieving global net-zero emissions by 2050 would require about 520 million mt/year of green and blue hydrogen, according to the International Energy Agency's recent Net Zero roadmap, a huge jump from today's small volumes. In 2020, about 90 million mt/year of conventional hydrogen was produced, mostly from fossil fuels, according to the IEA.
"I don't want to presume that the market is ready," said Khowaiter. "This would be the first time that hydrogen would be sold as a commodity. There is a double risk here, it is hard to predict."
In September, Aramco made the world's first blue ammonia shipment -- from Saudi Arabia to Japan -- for use in power generation. Khowaiter did not comment on when Aramco expects to make its next shipments.
Source: SP Global
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