ACWA Power and Tunisian government partner up for green hydrogen project

ACWA Power, a Saudi developer, investor and operator of power generation, water desalination and green hydrogen plants worldwide, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Tunisian government, represented by the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, to explore the potential for a project that would produce up to 600,000 tonnes per year of green hydrogen in three phases, for export to Europe.

Courtesy of ACWA Power

ACWA Power said the company would develop, operate and maintain 12 GW of renewable energy electricity generation units, including storage systems and transmission lines, along with water desalination plants, electrolyzers and infrastructures to connect to the main pipeline. The first phase would involve installing 4 GW of renewable energy units, 2 GW of electrolyzer capacity, as well as battery storage facilities, to produce 200,000 tonnes per year of green hydrogen.

The green hydrogen production is aimed to be exported through the South2 Corridor, connecting Tunisia to Italy, Austria and Germany. The South2 Corridor is a hydrogen pipeline initiative led by European transmission system operators (TSOs) and identified as a Project of Common Interest (PCI) by the European Union (EU).

According to ACWA Power, this new project intends to play an integral role in supporting Tunisia’s National Strategy for the Development of Green Hydrogen and its Derivatives, which was launched in October 2023. The strategy includes an action plan for exporting more than 6 million tonnes of green hydrogen to Europe by 2050.

Marco Arcelli, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ACWA Power, stated: “We are excited to work with the Tunisian Government on this visionary project, bringing our expertise in renewables, desalination and green hydrogen to build a bridge with Europe to help reach its decarbonization targets. This project can also contribute significantly to economic growth, job creation, and sustainable energy solutions, exemplifying our shared vision for a greener future.”

Ouael Chouchene, Secretary of State for Energy Transition, commented: “This project aligns perfectly with the Tunisian Government’s national green hydrogen strategy released in October 2023, which targets an annual production of 8.3 million tons of green hydrogen and byproducts by 2050. We are confident that this agreement with ACWA Power will leverage Tunisia’s strengths, including its strategic geographic location, existing infrastructure, and skilled workforce, to create a more sustainable future for the country.”

To note, ACWA Power is involved in multiple hydrogen projects and partnerships around the world, with the most recent partnership being the one with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to drive the worldwide transition to renewable energy sources.

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The company is also part of the major NEOM green hydrogen project in Saudi Arabia. Other activities include green hydrogen projects in Uzbekistan, Egypt and Indonesia.