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International companies express interest to invest in green hydrogen projects in the economic and free zones

November 16, 2020

Allocating 100 km2 of land in Duqm for clean energy

A group of international companies have expressed their interest to invest in clean hydrogen projects in the special economic zones and free zones in the Sultanate. Jalal bin Abdulkarim Al Lawati, from the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ), said that the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones is currently evaluating a number of investment requests in this field. Those companies are showing interest to invest in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD) and Sohar Free Zone to produce electricity from solar and wind energy as great sources to produce green hydrogen for export.  

The international interest reflects the Sultanate’s perfect characteristics and being one of the 5 potential destinations for investments in clean energy, according to the studies carried out by these companies. In view of that, the Sultanate is rich in the natural solar and wind energy, especially in Duqm. Having huge spacious lands across the country mark a great platform for placing solar panels and wind turbines to produce electricity.  

Jalal Al Lawati said that the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) has initially designated a dedicated zone for the clean energy in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD). This zone covers an area of 100 km2, which is enough to generate about 10 gigawatts of electrical energy. Furthermore, OPAZ is coordinating with other concerned government bodies to allocate an area in Sohar for expansion in producing solar energy.   

Al Lawati remarked, “Clean hydrogen projects are considered one of the future strategic projects that international companies are interested to invest in as an environment-friendly alternative to oil and gas byproducts. Usually electricity is generated from clean sources and used to separate hydrogen bits from oxygen in water, and then use hydrogen bits as a source of energy or converted to other chemicals such as ammonia or methanol”.  OPAZ seeks to place the Sultanate in the global green hydrogen production chain through the special economic zones and free zones.    

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