One of the developers behind the giant Neom green hydrogen facility has announced a plan to team up with two state-owned companies to build a renewable H2 project in Indonesia at a cost of more than $1bn — a project which, if realised on time in 2026, would be one of the region’s largest.

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The Garuda Hidrogen Hijau project would produce 150,000 tonnes of renewable ammonia per year, using 600MW of wind and solar power.

Saudi renewables developer ACWA Power plans to build the project with Indonesia’s state-owned electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) and its state-owned fertiliser company Pupuk Indonesia, with the trio signing a joint agreement to this end on the sidelines of COP28 today (Wednesday).

Pupuk Indonesia’s involvement in the proposal suggests that the ammonia would be used to make fertilisers domestically rather than exported as green NH3.

The trio have not revealed the size or type of electrolyser they intend to install at the project, but a 600MW renewable energy supply could power a machine of around 200-400MW, depending on the amount of energy storage incorporated into the project.

It is not yet clear whether the more-than-$1bn price tag includes brand new renewable energy capacity, or the Haber-Bosch technology required to convert green hydrogen to green ammonia — or whether the developers can make use of Pupuk Indonesia’s existing facilities.

The World Bank estimates that a million tonnes of green hydrogen requires around 10GW of electrolysers, 20GW of renewable energy capacity and $30 billion in investment. By these calculations, $1bn would be enough to finance around 330MW of electrolyser capacity and 670MW of renewables capacity, without including new ammonia production facilities.

Bidding on engineering, procurement and construction is due to begin early next year, with a final investment decision planned by the end of 2025 and commercial operation by 2026 — not long after the 2.2GW Neom green hydrogen project, currently under construction in Saudi Arabia.

If built, the Garuda Hidrogen Hijau scheme would be the largest in Indonesia.

“Green hydrogen is one of the answers to the energy transition,” Darmawan Prasodjo, PLN’s president-director. “Therefore, the development of green hydrogen is our focus in efforts to accelerate the energy transition.”

This is one of the first major green hydrogen projects announced in Indonesia, which has solar irradiation of up to 3.5 kWh per square metre and wind speeds of 4.89 metres per second according to the Global Wind and Solar Atlases, but, as an oil producer is heavily dependent on fossil fuels for both energy and economic prosperity.

Nevertheless, earlier this year, two Indonesian state-owned firms, three Danish companies and one Swedish manufacturer outlined a proposal to develop a 1GW nuclear power plant in the country dedicated to the production of clean hydrogen and ammonia.