October 9, 2019: Oman Hydrogen Symposium “Where the future finds a home.”
Under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications of Oman, the “1st OMAN Hydrogen Symposium” was held today, Wednesday, October 9, at the German Technical University in Oman (GUtech).
The symposium was supported by the Ministry of Oil and Gas in Oman and by His Excellency Salim bin Nasser bin Said Al-Aufi, Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, and was organized within the framework of the Oman Hydrogen Initiative, a joint project of the Oman University and Hydrogen Rise AG from Munich. The initiative serves as a platform to promote a sustainable and cross-sectoral hydrogen industry in the Sultanate.
During the half-day symposium, experts from Oman discussed with their international guests the potential of green hydrogen as a new energy carrier for the Sultanate. The global demand for hydrogen is experiencing increasing growth rates in size and speed. According to experts, the country could secure a leading role in raw material leadership and thus attractive export opportunities. In addition, this defossilised energy supply offers increasing labour market and value creation potential.
Salim bin Nasser bin Said Al-Aufi, Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, spoke about the importance of the development of the hydrogen industry for Oman. In addition to the technical aspects, there were also economic reasons and, above all, compliance with global climate protection targets. “There is no other way to fulfil the Paris Agreement and decarbonise the industry,” he said, expressing his hope to shoulder this project in cooperation with various partners from industry and science.
Thomas Friedrich Schneider, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Sultanate of Oman, praised the networking idea and the partnership orientation of the Omani-German hydrogen companies. Germany would be in the process of completely restructuring its energy sector, reducing its dependence on fossil and nuclear energy resources. Currently, about 44% of German energy production is generated from renewable energy sources. By 2050, this figure is expected to rise to 80-95% in order to limit the consequences of climate change while developing new and sustainable business opportunities. “Germany is therefore dependent on green hydrogen imports.” Green hydrogen is already used by German companies like Siemens. The German ambassador emphasized that further investments in research cooperations as well as in common standards and strategies will be necessary in the near future.
Dr.-Ing. Bernd Wiemann, Chairman of the Board of Hydrogen Rise AG, emphasized the farsightedness of the Sultanate of Oman in his speech. He said that the leadership had recognized the opportunity that lies in independence from increasingly scarce and expensive fossil fuels. With its expertise in the hydrogen energy sector, Oman would become an important player in the role of exporter and at the same time in the field of knowledge transfer. Hydrogen has long been regarded as the energy carrier for tomorrow, “Oman is now home to this future”.