Company behind world’s largest green hydrogen plant to undertake a multi-billion hydrogen project in Tunisia

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ACWA Power, a developer, investor, co-owner and operator of a portfolio of power generation, renewable energy and desalinated water production plants is set to carry out a multibillion hydrogen project in Tunisia. The company is also behind the construction of the world’s largest green hydrogen plant, the NEOM green hydrogen plant in Saudi Arabia.

Also Read: Progress on the world’s largest hydrogen plant, NEOM Saudi Arabia

In Q2 2024 it signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Tunisia for the development of the up to 600,000 tons per year hydrogen facility. The agreement was signed by Fatma Thabet Chiboub, Tunisia’s minister of industry, mines and energy, and Marco Arcelli, the CEO of ACWA Power.

This project is poised to attract more than US$ 6.2 billion in private investments.

Implementation of the multi-billion hydrogen project in Tunisia

Reportedly, ACWA Power will carry out the project which comprises the development, operation and maintenance of 12GW of renewable energy electricity generation units in three phases. In addition, the company will build storage systems and transmission lines, along with water desalination plants, electrolyzers and infrastructures.

In the first phase, it will install 4GW of renewable energy units, 2GW of electrolyzer capacity, as well as battery storage facilities to produce 200,000 tons of green hydrogen per year. The hydrogen will mainly be exported to the European Union through “South 2 Corridor”.

The South 2 Corridor is a hydrogen pipeline developed by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E). Connecting Tunisia with Italy, Austria, and Germany, the pipeline is classified as a project of common interest by the EU.

Fatma Chiboub and Marco Arcelli signing the MoU

Tunisia’s national green hydrogen strategy

Before the ACWA Power agreement, the government of Tunisia had also signed another Memorandum of Understanding with TE H2. The latter is a joint venture between TotalEnergies and EREN Groupe, in partnership with VERBUND for the implementation of a massive green hydrogen project dubbed “H2 Notos”.

H2 Notos aims to produce a total of 200,000 tonnes of green hydrogen every year in its initial phase. In subsequent phases, H2 Noto’s capacity could possibly be scaled up to one million tonnes every year. Like the ACWA Power multibillion hydrogen project, the H2 Notos will also export its produce to the EU through the South 2 Corridor.

Also Read: TE H2 Partners with VERBUND for the Development of a Large Green Hydrogen Project in Tunisia, H2 Notos

Both projects align perfectly with the government’s national green hydrogen strategy released in October 2023. According to the strategy, the Tunisian government targets an annual production of 8.3 million tons of green hydrogen and byproducts for export by 2050.

The strategy was developed in partnership with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).

Remarks on the ACWA Power and Tunisia MoU

Speaking on the agreement, Ouael Chouchene, said that they are confident that this agreement with ACWA Power will leverage the country’s strengths, including its strategic geographic location, existing infrastructure, and skilled workforce, to create a more sustainable future for the country. Chouchene is Tunisia’s secretary of state for energy transition.

Marco Arcelli, on the other hand, expressed his excitement to work with the Tunisian government on this visionary project. Moreover, the CEO said that he was also excited to bring the company’s expertise in renewables, desalination and green hydrogen to build a bridge with Europe in order to help her reach her decarbonization targets.

This project according to Arcelli can also contribute significantly to economic growth, job creation, and sustainable energy solutions, demonstrating the involved parties shared vision for a greener future.