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Experts to QNA: Green Hydrogen Production Gains Significant Interest in Algeria as Emission-Free Fuel Source

Algiers, – In light of its reliance on it as a future emissions-free fuel, the production and export of green hydrogen in Algeria are of great importance as part of its journey towards carbon neutrality.

Algeria is currently working on developing a national strategy for hydrogen, including green hydrogen, to fully integrate into the global dynamics of the energy transition. The country aims to develop the hydrogen sector through three main phases, starting with the start-up and training (2023-2030), then the expansion and the creation of the market (2030-2040), and finally the industrialization and the export (2040-2050).

Director of Hydrogen and Alternative Energies, Commission for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency in Algeria Rabah Sellami told Qatar News Agency that his country is engaged in the global energy transition by implementing the national strategy for green hydrogen development and making Algeria a regional center for the production and export of this energy and its derivatives.

He believes that Algeria, with its geographical location and capabilities in the gas industry, should play a significant role in the global market for this sector. He stated that his country is now working on creating a roadmap for hydrogen development, particularly through the establishment of new structures in this field at the higher education and vocational training levels, as well as a plan to implement four pilot projects with foreign partners.

He also revealed that there are ongoing agreements and consultations with European parties regarding several projects under study and development, primarily focused on initial pilot projects to test technologies and techniques, adding that the number of these agreements will increase in the future.

Managing Director at Green Energy Cluster in Algeria Boukhalfa Yaici emphasized in a similar statement to QNA that the current international circumstances and developments, along with the increasing demand for oil and gas markets, provide a good opportunity to work on embodying the energy transition by activating alternative energy projects, such as green hydrogen. He stressed that making these projects a priority and a necessity is vital within a strategy that ensures an energy transition meeting Algeria’s local and international aspirations, especially in light of the European community’s shift towards reducing fossil fuel use in favor of renewable energies.

He underscored that the focus now is on producing green hydrogen and its derivatives, like ammonia, which is used in fertilizer production at a lower cost. There is a strong political will to invest in green hydrogen, but it’s essential that this project is accompanied by investments in the materials and equipment industry required for green hydrogen production in Algeria, he said, adding that this allows for increased integration and economic efficiency, by reducing production costs and creating job opportunities and added value.

He continued by saying that Algeria will have a significant position in this field due to the available capabilities, such as pipelines for transportation from Algeria to Europe and its robust refining industry. Algeria’s geographical location allows it to become a regional player in hydrogen production, especially in the green hydrogen sector, as it has vast solar fields, abundant water resources, proximity to the European market, and extensive gas and electricity transportation networks, he added.

In this context, international energy expert Abdulrahman Mabtoul said that Algeria has the potential to supply between 10% to 15% of Europe’s green hydrogen needs by 2035. However, he conditions the achievement of this by foreign investments, emphasizing that any progress in green hydrogen production is closely tied to these investments.

Mabtoul further explained that Algeria’s bet on developing its green hydrogen capabilities is contingent on reducing domestic energy consumption, which has reached around 50% of the national gas production.

The Algerian Ministry of Energy expects to generate annual revenues of around $10 billion by 2040.

Director General of Prospective at the Algerian Ministry of Energy and Mining Medjelled Miloud said in press statements that the investment intentions in the green hydrogen sector in Algeria are estimated to be between $25 billion and $30 billion.

He added that the scale of investments is linked to the development of market and production capacities in the country after acquiring this technology, providing a favorable investment climate, and completing the studies that will outline the implementation vision for these projects through Algerian and foreign companies interested in importing hydrogen.

Last year, the Algerian oil and gas company, Sonatrach, and the German gas company, VNG-AG, signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at launching the first pilot project for green hydrogen production in Algeria with a capacity of approximately 50 megawatts (MW), with the aim of controlling the technology associated with this field.

In January, Algeria and Italy signed an agreement to build a new gas pipeline capable of transporting hydrogen from Algeria to the Italian island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea. Additionally, there was an agreement between the Italian company, Eni, and Sonatrach, to develop green hydrogen production through a pilot project in the Bir Rebaa North (BRN) in southern Algeria, aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of the gas plant in that field.

Clean energy and green hydrogen projects in Algeria are expected to receive funding from Germany, estimated at around $13 million, as part of the partnership program between the two countries.

The Algerian Ministry of Energy and Mining organized on Monday the fifth edition of the Algerian-German Energy Day under the slogan “The technologies of the future that bring us together”. The event focused on harnessing the potential of clean and renewable energies in Algeria within the framework of the partnership with Europe.

Source: Qatar News Agency