Last Updated on January 9, 2024 by News Editor
In order to build and operate the world’s first synthetic electro-fuel (e-fuel) demonstration plant, Aramco, a global integrated energy and chemicals corporation, and ENOWA, NEOM‘s energy and water company, have entered into a cooperative development agreement.
It will be housed in ENOWA’s Hydrogen Innovation and Development Center (HIDC) and use captured carbon dioxide (CO2) and renewable-based hydrogen to produce 35 barrels of low-carbon, synthetic fuels per day, demonstrating both commercial viability and technological feasibility.
E-Fuel Technology and Circular Carbon Economy Approach
When compared to traditional fuels, e-fuel technology, which is based on a circular carbon economy strategy, can possibly reduce CO2 emissions by over 70% across its entire life cycle.
Once completed, the integrated facility will generate 12 tons of synthetic methanol per day from CO2 and green hydrogen using patented ThyssenKrupp Uhde technologies. ExxonMobil’s Fluidized-Bed Methanol-to-fuels (MtG) technology will then be used to transform the synthetic methanol into low-carbon fuels.
Moreover, the HIDC will create green hydrogen by using a 20-megawatt electrolyzer that runs on renewable energy sources on the property. The innovation center that ENOWA is building will highlight the area’s enormous potential for producing and using solar and wind energy on a commercial scale.
For a number of years, Aramco has been exploring low-carbon synthetic fuel technology. Intensive research and development efforts to maximize the production of synthetic fuels led to the creation of the demonstration facility in NEOM. In the same way, ENOWA views e-fuel technology as an essential component of a circular carbon economy’s future portfolio that will help lower emissions and validate next-generation green fuel technologies for use in major projects down the road.
Aramco and ENOWA will collaborate to manage operations and funding for pertinent research initiatives, while NEOM will oversee the plant’s construction through a joint development agreement.
According to ENOWA CEO Peter Terium, the collaboration marks yet another important turning point for the company. He explained that Saudi Arabia has a unique chance to showcase the revolutionary potential of cutting-edge sustainable technologies as it continues to forge ahead as a world leader in a circular carbon economy powered by green hydrogen. Terium conveyed that ENOWA is excited to work with Aramco to establish a state-of-the-art e-fuels facility in NEOM. He highlighted how important this facility would be in encouraging innovation and making it easier to economically implement future clean energy sources.
Roland Kaeppner, Managing Director of Hydrogen and Green Fuels at ENOWA, also noted that the initiative is a concrete illustration of the circular carbon economy in operation. He stressed how committed ENOWA is to helping Saudi Arabia achieve its goal of quickly developing scientific innovation-based climate action. As one of the HIDC’s original anchor tenants, Kaeppner emphasized that the building is a solid representation of their shared goal with Aramco to spearhead innovative projects that consistently investigate cutting-edge technologies.
Certainly, the integrated e-fuel facility, which is a flagship project within Aramco’s larger research, development, and demonstration efforts with low-carbon synthetic fuels, will demonstrate the technological feasibility and commercial viability of a synthetic fuel value chain.