Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

$3.5bn Saudi-Egyptian project powers up hydrogen transition

The green ammonia facility in Egypt will use renewable energy sources and produce 500,000 tons of green ammonia from 100,000 tons of green hydrogen per year
  • Gulf aims to become a key hydrogen exporter
  • Hydrogen market is growing 9.2% through 2030
  • GCC green hydrogen could create 1m jobs by 2050

Saudi Arabia has backed up its ambition to become the world’s largest exporter of hydrogen by 2030 with plans to develop a $3.5 billion project in Egypt.

Riyadh-based Alfanar has signed a memorandum of understanding with the General Authority of the Suez Canal Economic Zone, the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company and the New and Renewable Energy Authority.

The green ammonia facility in Sokhna, 120km east of Cairo, will use renewable energy sources and produce 500,000 tons of green ammonia from 100,000 tons of green hydrogen per year.

In line with the Middle East Green Initiative launched by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the project is part of Alfanar’s mission to pioneer the energy transition industry.

Sabah Al-Mutlaq, chairman of Alfanar Global Development, said: “We have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Egypt and are thrilled to partner with such esteemed organisations of national importance on this programme. 

“Through this agreement, we will be developing a project to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia.”

Alfanar was one of the first companies to operate a 50mw solar project in the Benban Solar Park in the Aswan region of Egypt. The electricity generated from this solar plant currently offsets around 57,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Alfanar also has ambitious renewable energy projects across Saudi Arabia, the UK, Spain, India and Egypt. It is currently developing a project to produce aviation fuel from waste in the UK.

The Gulf region aims to become a key player in the global hydrogen production industry.

According to the World Bank, the market for the gas was valued at $130bn last year, and is estimated to grow by up to 9.2 percent per year through 2030.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt agree to develop a $3.5bn project in Sokhna, 120km east of Cairo

New energy superpowers

Hydrogen could account for up to 12 percent of global energy use by 2050, leading to the rise of new energy superpowers, according to a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Earlier this year, the NEOM Green Hydrogen Project was announced as the world’s largest utility scale, commercially-based hydrogen facility powered entirely by renewable energy.

When commissioned in 2026, the joint venture between NEOM, Saudi Arabia’s $500bn city of the future, Air Products and ACWA Power will produce 650 tons per day of hydrogen by electrolysis. 

The finished project will mitigate the impact of three million tons of carbon dioxide per year. 

It will be the first of its kind to produce green hydrogen at a level that can be sold, according to Alicia Eastman, co-founder and managing director at Intercontinental Energy, who spoke at a virtual conference during the MENA Energy Week.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar all score strongly in Fitch’s Hydrogen Suitability Index.

Water, Building, Refinery
Green ammonia facility in Sokhna in Egypt


Saudi Arabia has said it wants to become the world’s largest exporter of hydrogen by 2030, while Fitch is currently tracking six major commercial green and blue hydrogen and ammonia projects in the UAE. 

Fitch Solutions associate director of energy research, Thomas van Lanschot, said: “The MENA region exhibits robust overall potential for the development of hydrogen infrastructure in the long term.

“Growing global demand for low-carbon fuels begins to offer a strong basis for diversification to support non-oil economic activity in the region.”

In November, the UAE announced the Hydrogen Leadership Roadmap, a national blueprint to support domestic, low carbon industries to contribute to the country’s net zero 2050 ambition and establish the country as a competitive exporter of hydrogen. 

The country will target a 25 percent market share in key export markets, including Japan, South Korea, Germany, and India initially, along with additional high-potential markets in Europe and East Asia.

While Saudi Arabia is initiating major undertakings with no formal framework, Oman is creating new structures and introducing various projects, Qatar is continuing to focus on liquified natural gas and blue hydrogen production abroad, and Kuwait and Bahrain remain cautious and are sticking to investments and feasibility studies.

Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi unveiled its hydrogen policy and regulatory framework – part of the UAE’s push to become a global force in the low carbon economy.

Annual revenues from green hydrogen in the GCC are estimated to grow to about $200bn by 2050, generating up to one million jobs within three decades.

According to a Hydrogen Council report published last year, more than 30 countries have released hydrogen roadmaps, and the industry has announced more than 200 projects and ambitious investment plans. 

Total investments could exceed $300bn to 2030 – the equivalent of 1.4 percent of global energy funding.

Latest articles

Nature, Undersea cables account for as much as 90 percent of Europe-Asia telecommunications, Water

Iraq and Kuwait team up for European telecom corridor

Iraq’s Informatics and Telecommunication Public Company, a division of the Ministry of Communications, has signed an agreement with Kuwait’s Zajil Telecom to create a telecommunications corridor from the Gulf region to Europe, transiting through Iraq and Turkey. The new route will pass through Iraqi sea and land ports. Iraq’s minister of communications Hayam Al-Yasiri said […]

An artist's impression of part of the Diriyah Square development

Diriyah Square planned for historic Riyadh district

A public space featuring 400 retail outlets and 100 restaurants and cafes is planned for the historic Riyadh district of Diriyah. Diriyah Square will be announced next week at the World Retail Congress in Paris and aims to attract a combination of international retail brands and local artisans.  Diriyah Gate Development Authority group CEO Jerry […]

Turkish crude steel output rose 25% year on year to 3.2 million tonnes in January

Turkish steel in the black but EU rules rankle

Turkey’s steel industry has rebounded strongly from a weak 2023, despite facing new emissions standards and competition for important markets.  Crude steel output rose 25 percent year on year to 3.2 million tonnes in January, with domestic consumption of finished steel reaching 3.5 million tonnes, a 20 percent increase.  Exports were also up, increasing 23 […]

Passengers at Beijing Capital International Airport. Air China will fly from the airport to Riyadh three times a week.

Third Chinese airline to launch flights to Saudi Arabia

Air China is set to begin flights to Riyadh in May, becoming the third Chinese airline to establish a route to Saudi Arabia. It joins China Southern and Eastern Airlines in connecting China with the kingdom.  Air China’s Airbus A330-300 will serve the Beijing-Riyadh route three times a week. The expansion in capacity between the […]