The sultanate of Oman has officially launched the second round of land lease auctions for its green hydrogen programme, with up to three parcels of land encompassing over 1,000 square km in the south of the country open for development.
National hydrogen company Hydrom, which has already awarded several land leases for giant GW-scale green H2 and green ammonia schemes in the eastern port of Duqm, now intends to release land for projects in the Dhofar region to the south of the country.
Each parcel of land will be around 340-400 square km, Oman’s ministry of economy said yesterday (Wednesday). This makes the total land available for auction 1,020-1,200 square km, significantly larger than the 810 square km auctioned in the Duqm area.
The Dhofar region, which hosts the city of Salalah, also encompasses the Al-Mazunah Free Zone. However unlike the Special Economic Zone of Duqm, it is not located near the coast and is relatively small, covering an area of just 14.5 square km close to the border with Yemen.
Hydrom is now accepting statements of qualification for the Dhofar land until 8 October, and has previously said it plans to award two to three land leases for green hydrogen development in the area by the end of the year.
International oil giant BP has already signed term sheets and commercial agreements with the Omani government for a prospective project in Dhofar.
The auctions for Duqm earlier this year saw Hydrom award a succession of leases to major international green hydrogen developers envisaging a total 700,000 tonnes of annual green H2 production and over 1.5 million tonnes of green ammonia production.
The winners included BP and an international consortium, Green Energy Oman, that includes Shell and Intercontinental Energy and Omani state oil firm OQ — both of which were developing their projects before Oman launched its auction process.
A consortium led by Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Blue Power as well as Oman’s Al Khadra Partners won an additional lease to develop a project to produce hydrogen for use in green steel production.
Korean steel giant Posco and compatriot Samsung are part of a Korean-Thai-European consortium to produce 1.2 million tonnes of green ammonia by 2030.
And prior to the auctions, the Omani government had already signed term sheets with five other legacy applicants and consortia (including BP), such as India’s ACME, the Omani-Belgian Hyport Duqm consortium and Marubeni-led SalalaH2.
Belgium’s DEME is also hoping to build a 650,000 tonnes-per-year green ammonia plant with OQ as part of the Hyport project.
And India’s ACME and Norway’s Scatac are also developing a green hydrogen and green ammonia project in Oman. ACME recently secured a $488m loan from a state-backed bank to start construction on the project.
The proposals move Oman towards its goal of producing one million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030, however none of the projects has yet reached final investment decision (FID).