Saudi Arabia’s massive 2.2GW Neom green hydrogen and ammonia project has become the first gigawatt-scale H2 scheme to reach final investment decision (FID), formalising the funding the project partners announced in March.

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The Neom partners — US industrial gases firm Air Products, Saudi state-owned Neom Green Hydrogen Company and Saudi renewables developer ACWA Power — signed agreements worth $8.4bn with 23 local, regional and international lenders for the project, slightly less than the $8.5bn announced a few weeks ago.

The flagship project is due to begin operations in 2026, having received an industrial operating license from the Saudi ministry of industry and mineral resources in January, and the green light from investors to begin construction in March.

Neom will be powered by "up to" 4GW of solar and wind energy and produce 600 tonnes per day of hydrogen as feedstock for ammonia, the project developers said today. This appears to represent a slight reduction in the amount of renewable capacity associated with the plant, which ACWA Power said recently would require 4.6GW.

Neom has previously indicated that while it expects to be able to meet EU standards for renewable hydrogen, it is also eyeing other export markets for when the ammonia is produced using grid electricity.

It has already secured a 30-year exclusive offtake agreement with co-developer Air Products, which plans to distribute the ammonia to global demand centres, with a focus on northern Europe, to serve mobility and industrial markets.

Air Products has also bagged the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the project, valued at around $6.7bn.

“Air Products is proud to be shaping the future of energy with first-mover projects like this one, providing clean hydrogen to the world in a sustainable way,” said the company’s CEO Seifi Ghasemi.

“Producing and exporting green ammonia supports the decarbonisation of these heavy-duty transportation and industrial sectors and will save the world about five million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year,” he added.

“Land preparation is also complete, construction is well underway, and the joint venture team is in place and actively executing to bring green energy to the world by the end of 2026,” Ghasemi said.