GUtech and BP Oman Partnership to Boost R&D Collaboration Through Ejaad Platform

The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) receives a funding grant from BP Oman for a multi-purposes research project relating to Solar Photovoltaics (PV) panels through Ejaad Protocol, the platform tasked to boost R&D collaboration between industry and academia in Oman.

GUtech, represented by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Modigell, the Rector, and BP Oman, represented by Yousuf Al Ojaili, the President, have signed a Grant Agreement today, Monday 28 October, to fund a research study on the performance of Solar Photovoltaics (PV) panels.

The first phase of the project will focus on studying the effect of weather parameters (e.g. temperature, shadow, humidity, wind, etc.) and soiling on PV panels. In the second phase, the team will concentrate on creating a robot cleaner ought to address the adverse effects of soiling for a more stable energy production.

Optimising the energy production of PV panels in Oman can’t be achieved without assessing the loss of energy experienced due to the local weather conditions, The Rector of GUtech said at the signing and continued: “we feel a huge responsibility for the success of this ICV partnership with BP Oman.”

Yousuf Al Ojaili, BP Oman President commented about the importance of industry and academia cooperation: “We are proud of our partnership with GUtech. It is aligned with our strategic vision to support research and development in the energy sector and is part of our contribution to In Country Value.” He added, “This partnership reaffirms the alignment between industry and academia which can bring significant progress in research outputs and addresses a specific subject of solar energy hence helping in green energy agenda.”

Under the one-year-long agreement, the study will be undertaken by GUtech researchers and Omani fresh graduates, in collaboration with Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and Hussam Technology Company (HTC).

“PV panels are now increasingly used in Oman. We look forward to opening our laboratories for GUtech team to carry on much needed research on optimising PV panels performance through measuring the adverse effects of local weather conditions on PV cells.” said Dr Rashid Al Abri from the College of Engineering at SQU. Dr Al Abri will be co-supervising the project progress along Al Humairi from GUtech.

We see this project as an incredible opportunity to understand the effect of weather conditions, as well as soiling on the performance of PV panels,” said Ali Al Humairi from the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering at GUtech. “We are looking forward to kicking off the work on the project along two fresh graduates in November.”

HTC is chosen for this project as the sole supplier of all parts needed to carry on the study and create the cleaner robot and a provider of technical support. “The cooperation with GUtech and SQU in this project allows not only for the bundling of efforts, but above all brings minds from academia and the industry together for the advancement of research outputs.” Commented Dr Firas Al Abduwani, from HTC.

GUtech campus is home to the BP Oman funded solar facility that has culminated from collaborations between SGS and HTC back in 2018 and since then has been used for providing training and PV certification to technicians and students. “ A cleaning robot to clear out soiling off the panels in the facility on our campus is much needed.” Elaborated Al Humairi. Continuous cleaning of panels can’t be avoided due to the accumulation of soiling which decreases power output. “Creating an automatic device ought to eliminate risks associated with manual cleaning, maximise the panels power output, and minimise humans involvement.” Explained Al Humairi.

The signing ceremony was held on the sidelines of Ejaad 2nd Leadership Forum event, under the patronage of HE Eng. Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, and attended by several chief executive officers and researchers from across industrial and academic institutions in the Sultanate.

(c) GUtech Text: Fatima El Madkouri & Photo: Fatma Al Balushi

Learning about Logistics in Europe – An Excursion to Germany

HALBAN A group of 16 Logistics students from the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and their professors have conducted a two-week study-excursion around Germany recently. As part of the excursion, the group participated in a special logistics course at RWTH Aachen University, Department of Business. At RWTH Aachen University the group was welcomed by Professor Dr. Oliver Lorz who is the Inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at GUtech. The Dean of the RWTH Aachen School of Business and Economics, Prof. Dr. Peter Letmathe RWTH Aachen welcomed the students. “For the trip, the best among their cohort were sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to RWTH Aachen in Germany. At RWTH Aachen, the students were happy to meet Prof. Dr. Oliver Lorz who is teaching at GUtech as a fly-in professor. Students were fascinated by the different research areas, in particular, “Operations Research and Management” which is supported by the “Business Analytics Lab”. In this laboratory, contemporary management situations are supported by methods from Operations Research. This area is very strong in Logistics education at GUtech and combines practical applications with basic research, which is in particular, relevant for Logistics,” said Prof. Dr. Tobias Buer, Head of the Logistics Department, Faculty of Business and Economics at GUtech.

As part of the excursion, the group visited the city of Cologne and a number of companies such as Zalando in Essen and the Zeche Zollverein that was once the largest and most modern hard coal mine in the world and a symbol of industrialization in Germany. The group also visited leading Logistics companies such as the DHL Innovation Center in Troisdorf. In its ‘Innovation Centers’ around the world, DHL showcases the latest logistics solutions and discusses visions and trends for the future. The students also experienced Electric Vehicle developed for Deutsche Post DHL by professors and students at RWTH Aachen. At Duisport, Europe’s biggest hinterland hub that connects rail, inland-waterway, and road transport, the students saw containers that arrive via deep-sea vessels at the port of Rotterdam or Antwerp. The containers are shipped via the river to Duisport and then continue their transport via Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan to other ports around the world and as far as China.

During the excursion, students also experienced everyday life in Germany. “They were exposed to the benefits and hassles of complex public transport systems in Germany. Through several cultural visits, the students also learnt a lot about German and European history. For example, we visited the ‘House of European History in Brussels’, Belgium, and the UNESCO World-Heritage Site Zollverein Coal Mine industrial complex in Germany. Zollverein was one of the largest and most advanced mines in Europe until it closed in 1986. Until then it was the heart of the industrialization of Germany, it is a symbol for hard-working miners that brought wealth back to Germany after World War 2, and a painful but necessary transition from an industrial, coal-based region to a cultural and technology-driven region today,“ said Prof. Dr. Tobias Buer.

(c) GUtech Text & Photos: Prof Dr. Tobias Buer and Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

 

 

Promoting Internships abroad: OES signs MoU with Trimedia Finland

HALBAN Oman Educational Services (OES), the owner and mother-company of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Trimedia Finland. The main objective of this cooperation is to support GUtech’s efforts to link the Department of Computer Science with international companies based in Finland. As part of their CS study-programme, GUtech students have to conduct summer internships. The students will work remotely on a project here at GUtech and they will be sent to Finland to get more international exposure and training. “We wish to bring reputable European companies to Oman so that Oman can be developed as their regional hub. At the same time, we wish to connect our students to European companies, providing them opportunities to work here in Oman and also on projects in Europe. Hence, this cooperation will allow GUtech students to learn from the business acumen and mindset of these companies while it will, simultaneously, stimulate their interest and hopefully be an incentive to establish their own start-ups in Oman,” said Ahmed Saud Al Salmi, General Manager of OES. Arto Saksola from Trimedia also expressed his excitement for this opportunity to build cooperation between Trimedia and GUtech/OES. Trimedia will get an insight into the skills of GUtech students and develop further cooperation based on these experiences. At the same time, Trimedia’s employees are delighted with this international cooperation.”

Caption: Mr. Ahmed Al Salmi, General Manager of OES and Mr. Arto Saksola along with OES representatives.

 

‘Understanding Carbonate Mudrocks’: Sedimentary rocks that produce oil and gas

A special lecture by Dr. John D. Humphrey at GUtech

Carbonate mudrocks are limestones that exist in many parts of Oman and elsewhere. The process of their formation and significance in different environments and their application within the oil and gas sector was explained yesterday by Prof. Dr. John D. Humphrey at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) as part of a special student lecture tour organized by the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE). Dr. Humphrey is from King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals in Saudi Arabia. He presented a lecture entitled “Understanding Carbonate Mudrocks” in the University’s Research Hall. According to Prof. Humphrey, Oman is a great place to study carbonate rocks, for both conventional carbonate systems and unconventional deep-water carbonates. During the lecture, case studies of mudstone/chalk reservoirs were presented. Carbonate mudrocks are made of calcium carbonates, many of which are so-called source rocks that produce and store reservoirs of oil and gas. They have been deposited millions of years ago as chalks, starting with the Jurassic age. These carbonate mudrocks are increasingly becoming the targets of unconventional petroleum system exploration and development. These deposits are important for both conventional and unconventional petroleum systems. Amal Al Hajri, 4th year student in Applied Geosciences said that Prof. Humphrey’s talk helped her to plan for her thesis. “I would like to include chalks in my Bachelor thesis studies,” she said.

Prof. Humphrey visited Oman in 2002 for the first time from the USA. He has more been recently working at KFUPM, and has been a regular visitor for summer school excursions with his students. “There are many amazing, remarkable geological exposures in Oman,” he said. He and his students and other professors usually visit and explore different rock formations in Jebel Shams, Wadi Tiwi, Salalah, and other sites in Oman every summer. There are plans to have joint summer excursions with GUtech in future.

Dr. John D. Humphrey is Associate Professor and Assistant Chairman of Geosciences at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. His appointment is in the Department of Geosciences, within the College of Petroleum Engineering and Geosciences. Prof. Humphrey received his Ph.D. degree from Brown University/ USA in Geological Sciences. Prior to joining KFUPM in 2017, he spent 25 years on the faculty of Geology and Geological Engineering at Colorado School of Mines in USA. He was Head of Department for seven years there.

His areas of specialisation include carbonate diagenesis and geochemistry, carbonate sedimentology and stratigraphy, carbonate reservoir characterization, unconventional carbonate reservoirs, stable isotope geochemistry, and paleoclimatology. He has been a consultant to the oil and gas and mining industries for thirty years. Dr. Humphrey is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and a Trustee Associate of the American Association of Petroleum.

Engineering Course at the Measurement Techniques Laboratory at RWTH Aachen University

HALBAN A group of 40 Bachelor of Engineering students and their professors from Mechanical- Process- and Environmental Engineering have participated in a two-week laboratory course at the Measurement Techniques Laboratory at GUtech’s partner-university, RWTH Aachen University in Germany last month. The course was fully sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

“The aim of the excursion was to familiarise our students with industrial applications for processing a variety of products and consumer goods, necessary for our modern societies. During the course students attended laboratory sessions and conducted experiments at different laboratories of RWTH Aachen University. At the end of the Measurement Techniques Laboratory course, students had to sit for the final examination,” said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Emmanouil Bouzakis one of the supervisors, Department of Engineering at GUtech. At RWTH Aachen University the group also visited the Stem Cell Factory at the Fraunhofer IPT. “The aim of the visit was to familiarise the engineering students with their research activities on Standardized and Integrated Processes for Personalised Stem Cell-Based Drug Prediction using Reprogrammed Blood Cells,” said Prof. Dr. Bouzakis and as well as to “motivate the students to integrate their disciplines with biological related processes or applications”, said Prof. Dr. Hind Barghash. The students also visited, the main building of RWTH Aachen University and the modern, new Central Auditorium for Research and Learning. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Schmitt, Director of the Machine Tool Laboratory at RWTH Aachen (WZL) and the Fraunhofer IPT Research Institute, introduced the group from Oman to the premises of the Production Engineering Cluster at RWTH Aachen. The students also listened to a presentation by Dr. Leah Cheung from RWTH International Academy on opportunities for continuing with their Master’s Studies in Aachen.

As part of the study-trip three excursions were conducted to industries. “First, we visited the paper mill UPM Hürth, the Drinking Water Treatment Plant TWA Roetgen and the Klingelnberg Drive Technology Division, located in the outskirts of Cologne. Our visit was fully guided by two experienced engineers and we were introduced to the main function of the paper production plant. We also visited all the operational units and the control room for more technical explanations. Another day, we visited the Drinking Water Treatment Plant – TWA Roetgen where we were introduced to the drinking water requirements of the three-countries region including Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium and the membrane ultrafiltration process applied in the plant. Our visit concluded with a tour around the different filtration stages and the neighbouring Dreilägerbach Dam,” said Prof Dr. Hind Barghash.

The third educational excursion was a visit to the Klingelnberg Drive Technology Division in Hückeswagen, close to the city of Cologne. In the factory, the students were guided through the machine shop floor and were acquainted with the manufacturing sequence of bevel gears for marine, mining and other applications as well as with the related metrology.

“The entire group, the students and we professors, would like to express our gratitude to DAAD and GUtech for giving us the opportunity to travel to RWTH Aachen University. Not only the chance to have a real laboratory experience but also the visits of several industrial environments were extremely motivational experiences. Some students expressed their interest to return to Germany for an internship or to continue with their post-graduate studies. The chances given to GUtech students, both Omani and international, contribute to strengthen the connection of GUtech with the highly reputed RWTH Aachen University and to familiarise students from the Middle East with the German Higher Education System,” said Prof. Dr. Hind Barghash.

(c) GUtech/ Text and Photo: Prof. Dr. Emmanouil Bouzakis, Prof. Dr. Hind Barghash and Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

“Training on the job. An apprenticeship is the key to solve youth unemployment”

An Apprenticeship Training System for the Construction Sector

HALBAN Apprenticeships have a long tradition in Europe, where they are well-established for more than 800 hundred years. The introduction of apprenticeships in Oman, especially in the construction sector could help solving youth unemployment.

“Training on the job is the key to solve youth unemployment in Oman,” said Mrs Heiderose Moossen, Manager Vocational Training at GUtech during a presentation on ‘Apprenticeship Training System for the Construction Sector’ held during the 9th Infra Oman – Oman’s biggest and only exhibition related to Construction & Infrastructure, held at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre last week. “With more than 91% foreign labor, the construction sector is the biggest employer for foreigners in Oman, at the same time generating high levels of energy consumption and resources due to the low level workmanship, outdated installations and technologies, that do not promote energy saving. 50% of the energy production is consumed by private households in Oman. Therefore implementing alternative energy technologies is one side of the medal, but reducing energy consumption is the other side, which is needed to complement the efforts of the Omani government to control energy,” said Heiderose Moossen.

Here apprenticeships could support the local economy in the long run. “The duration of an apprenticeship is usually three years. The requirement is a secondary diploma and apprentices are selected by the companies. Throughout the three years, youngsters are trained on their jobs. In Europe, for example masons or steel reinforcement technicians are among the 10 highest paid jobs. Their training on the job exists for more than 800 years all over Europe,” said Heiderose Moossen while adding: “A job is the best social security for society and for the economy at large. From a young age onwards, children grow into their social responsibilities by watching and learning from the elders, becoming the lead drivers, role-models and supporters of tomorrow and future generations. During an apprenticeship program a young person learns to work autonomously, while getting three years of professional experience after their apprenticeship and qualify for the highest level of vocation training worldwide, level 5. Then they know their work, no doubt,” she said.

‘Understanding Carbonate Mudrocks’ – An EAGE lecture by Prof Dr. John Humphrey

HALBAN As part of a student lecture tour organized by the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE), Prof. Dr. John D. Humphrey, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, will give a lecture on “Understanding Carbonate Mudrocks”. The lecture will be held at GUtech on Monday, 21 October. “We are looking forward to an interesting talk by an internationally renown carbonate rock specialist. Carbonate mudrocks are of specific interest to Oman and the wider region as source rocks for oil and gas. Prof. Humphrey has been extensive teaching, research and consultancy experience within the oil and gas and mining industries,” said Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bauer, Head of the Department of Applied Geosciences at GUtech.

Fine-grained, mud-dominated, carbonate rocks can form in a variety of sedimentary environments. While sub-environments of shallow-water tropical carbonate systems are capable of producing muddy facies, this talk focuses on predominantly pelagic carbonates in slope and basin settings. Increasingly, such carbonate mudrocks are becoming the targets of unconventional petroleum system exploration and development. Basinal accumulations of pelagic carbonate (either platform or open ocean derived) can be associated with anoxic to suboxic conditions conducive to preservation of marine organic matter. These organic-rich carbonate mudrocks tend to be brittle and are therefore viable targets for hydraulic fracturing completions. Other carbonate mudrock systems are economically important conventional reservoirs, such as the Upper Cretaceous to Paleogene chalks of the North Sea. The lecture will consider the sedimentology and diagenesis of pelagic carbonates, including ecological controls on carbonate production, chemical controls on carbonate accumulation, and the effects of burial diagenesis on carbonate mudrock reservoir quality. Case studies of mudstone/chalk reservoirs will be presented.

Dr. John D. Humphrey is Associate Professor and Assistant Chairman of Geosciences at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. His appointment is in the Department of Geosciences, within the College of Petroleum Engineering and Geosciences. His areas of specialization include carbonate diagenesis and geochemistry, carbonate sedimentology and stratigraphy, carbonate reservoir characterization, unconventional carbonate reservoirs, stable isotope geochemistry, and paleoclimatology. He has been a consultant to the oil and gas and mining industries for thirty years. Dr. Humphrey is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and a Trustee Associate of the American Association of Petroleum.

Prof. Humphrey received his B.S. degree in Geology at the University of Vermont, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated Cum Laude. Dr. Humphrey received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Brown University in Geological Sciences. He was on the faculty of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Dallas from 1986 to 1991. Beginning in 1991, Dr. Humphrey was a professor of Geology and Geological Engineering at Colorado School of Mines. He was twice awarded the Alumni Teaching Award for the top educator at CSM (1998, 2014). He served as Department Head from 2006 to 2013. From 2013 to 2015, he was Interim Director of the CSM Chevron Center of Research Excellence. He retired from Mines in 2015 and joined KFUPM in 2017.

Caption: Late Permian Khuff Formation, a seqence of muddy limestones and marls, northern Huqf, Oman.

 

“Computer Science offers recession-proof jobs”

HALBAN Computers are part of our every-day lives. “A Bachelor in Computer Science offers a well-rounded programme where students can learn various skills like reasoning, rational thinking and problem-solving,” said Prof. Dr. Nabil Sahli, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science during the Avenir Career Fair held at the Indian School Seeb last week. “Computer Science offers recession-proof jobs, withstanding economic changes worldwide,” he added. During his talk to the students, Prof. Nabil mentioned that 60% of the future jobs in science will be related to Computer Science, although only 2% will have the specific skill-set required for the jobs. “Computer scientists will be highly in demand in future, focusing on data sciences, data security especially with regard to the dramatically increasing e-commerce businesses.” He added that Computer Science is a door of opportunities when you have unique ideas that attract a large audience. He stressed that some GUtech graduates in Computer Sciences have started their own start-up businesses in Oman, even representing Google in the Middle East or they work for telecommunications companies like Omantel, Oredoo or consultancies like Ernst & Young. “Our Computer Science graduates have a very good reputation in the local market,” he said. Prof. Dr Nabil Sahli got his PhD from Canada in 2006. He has extensive teaching and research experience in Computer Science. Currently, he is involved in different research projects related to sensor networks and road traffic management.

At GUtech’s BSc Computer Science programme, students attend around 30 hours class per week including hardware and software. In addition, they have to conduct a summer internship and write their Bachelor thesis at the end of the programme. The students are also participating in international competitions such as the Dell EMC competition, Microsoft Imagine Cup, ACM programming or the Google Hackathon. In cooperation with GUtech’s partner-university RWTH Aachen University, GUtech has started a MSc programme in Computer Sciences with an option to study at Hasselt University (Belgium) and to earn an additional Master degree in Transportation Science.

(c) GUtech/ Text & Photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

 

GUtech Engineering students and professors visit Sohar Aluminium

HALBAN The Department of Mechanical Engineering of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has conducted an annual site visit to Sohar Aluminium last week. The site visit was part of the course Material Science 2. “Thanks to this annual site visit, the students have the opportunity to experience a real production line, that is usually explained in the classroom and from a theoretical point of view. The plant is the first aluminium smelter in the Sultanate of Oman, that is able to produce about 390,000 tonnes/year of primary aluminium using the Hall-Heroult process,” said Prof. Dr. Annalisa Pola, fly-in professor from the University of Brescia. During their site visit, the students and professors visited three plant facilities including the training centre, where several GUtech students have also been trained in the past as well as the ‘Anodes production Plant’ and the ‘Casthouse’. “We are happy to receive the students in our aluminium smelter and get the opportunity to explain to them the different processes involved in the aluminium production thereby supplementing their theoretical knowledge with practical experience.” said Mrs Dana Geadah, Communications Manager at Sohar Aluminium. Mrs Geadah added: “Sohar Aluminium plays an important role in the future of the aluminium industry in the Gulf region where the smelters collectively produce 10% of the total world production and is considered one of the key economic drivers for the region.”

 

The 1st OMAN Hydrogen Symposium held at GUtech

HALBAN Under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications in Oman, the ‘1st OMAN Hydrogen Symposium’, was held at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) today, Wednesday 9 October. The Symosium was organised by the OMAN Hydrogen Initiative, founded by GUtech and the German company Hydrogen Rise AG. The Symposium was supported by the Ministry of Oil and Gas in Oman and by His Excellency Salim bin Nasser bin Said Al-Aufi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas. During the half-day Symposium experts from the Sultanate of Oman and abroad discussed the potential of green hydrogen as a new energy carrier for the Sultanate. As the global demand for hydrogen is expected to increase in future, experts predict significant export opportunities for Oman. The OMAN Hydrogen Symposium has presented initial research results and has offered proposals for further action including the establishment of a ‘Hydrogen Competence Center’.

Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech welcomed the audience to this 1st OMAN Hydrogen Symposium. The symposium was divided into three parts: opportunities and challenges for Oman, the international trends and developments including case studies from Japan and Germany as well as future plans of the OMAN Hydrogen Initiative. On the side lines of the Symposium GUtech BSc Environmental Engineering students presented their research on the ‘Potential of Bio-hydrogen Production in Oman’, supervised by Dr. Hind Barghash partially by Petroleum Development in Oman (PDO) and GUtech seed funding. In addition, GUtech students presented their Shell Eco-marathon hydrogen car in front of the conference hall.

H.E. Salim bin Nasser bin Said Al-Aufi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas said that it is a global challenge to transform the ecosystem to a hydrogen society. “There is no other way to meet the Paris Agreement and to decarbonize the industry,” he said. “The potential is huge. We would like to contribute and shape the hydrogen economy,” he said and in cooperation with different partners from the industry as well as from the academia. H.E. Thomas Friedrich Schneider, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Sultanate of Oman said that he is pleased to participate in the 1st OMAN Hydrogen Symposium. Germany is undergoing a complete restructuring of its energy sector, reducing its dependency on fossil and nuclear energy resources towards renewable energies. “This is a huge challenge.” Currently some 44 % of Germany’s energy production is generated from renewable energies. By 2050 the amount shall increase to 80-95% with the aim to protect the environment and to limit the consequences of climate change while creating new business opportunities. A National Strategy for Hydrogen will be published by the German government by the end of the year. Therefore, Germany needs green hydrogen imports. Green hydrogen is already used by German companies like Siemens. The German Ambassador stressed that there is an urgent need for further investment in research cooperations and in common standards and policies leading to a sustainable energy future worldwide.

Dr.-Ing. Bernd Wiemann, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hydrogen Rise AG stressed in his speech that Sultanate of Oman, with its expertise in the energy sector can emerge as a major player promoting hydrogen as an alternative resource and for export while at the same time developing competencies and human resources for the new hydrogen industry.

Mr. Olav Carlsen, Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder of Hydrogen Rise AG, spoke about the Green Hydrogen – The Global Game Changer and Significant Opportunities for Oman. “Today 18% of the energy worldwide is already supplied by renewable energies. The energy transition needs new energy carriers to decarbonize the industries worldwide. By 2050, 65% of the global energy is projected to be generated by renewable energies. By 2050 the production will increase to 500 million tons of green hydrogen compared to only 2 million green hydrogen in 2017. This energy transition will offer plenty of opportunities for local businesses. Hydrogen can be exported in a large scale while generating little CO2 emissions. According to Carlsen hydrogen is non-toxic and non-polluting, while complying with strong safety regulations. He pointed out that heavy trucks in Chile were already replaced by hydrogen trucks. In Europe and Asia hydrogen trains as well as hydrogen cars are already used for transportation. Overall it is projected that hydrogen creates ‘deep tech jobs’ while attracting energy intensive industries offering a potential for numerous carbon-free industry certifications. In her speech on the Oman Hydrogen Capacity Potential, Ms. Clara Orthofer from the Technical University Munich (TUM) in Germany spoke about the prospects of hydrogen for the local economy. “Oman’s technical electricity potential lies 136 times above the current electricity demand” while adding that the Hydrogen production potential is up to 10 times the current oil exports. For the production of hydrogen only a surface of 1 % is required and 8-17 % of Oman’s water that was generated in 2016. Dr. Abdullah Al-Abri, Executive Director of EJAAD in Oman spoke about Hydrogen: A Promising Economic Engine for Oman”. He said that “Hydrogen is an opportunity for Oman”, e.g. as a chemical feed-stock to produce ammonia and chemicals for EOR such as Dimethyl Ethel and others as well as to blend hydrogen with natural gas.” Mr. Emanuele Taibi, Analyst for Power Sector Transformation Strategies of International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, elaborated on Hydrogen: A Renewable Energy Prospective. Dr. Uwe Albrecht, Chief Executive Officer, Ludwig Bölkow Systemtechnik – LBST from Germany spoke about the ‘Global Trends and Developments’ while Mr. Toshiyuki Shirai, Director of Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division – Agency for National Resources and Energy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan elaborated in his speech ‘Japan – On the Way to a Hydrogen Society’ on the experience in hydrogen from Japan, one of the leading hydrogen technology nations. Mr. Holger Lösch, Deputy Director General of Federation of German Industries- BDI, Germany spoke about the ‘Energy Transition within the German Industry’ and Dr. Karoline Steinbacher, Managing Consultat, Navigant, Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany explained in her speech the ‘German Hydrogen Orientation’. The Symposium concluded with a short overview: ‘Next Steps of the OMAN Hydrogen Initiative’, outlined by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech and Dr.-Ing. Bernd Wiemann, CEO of Hydrogen Rise AG. As part of the OMAN Hydrogen Initiative actions, GUtech is to introduce a hydrogen collaboration, piloting and demonstration with different partners in the industry, government and academia while establishing a Hydrogen ‘Competence Center’ for research and development and to further on to build and operate the first green hydrogen pilot plant on campus while at the same time raising public awareness about the potential of hydrogen as a green energy carrier and industrial feedstock for many new industrial businesses in Oman. Due to the success of the Symposium, the organizers are planning to hold a second symposium with different stakeholders in future.

(c) GUtech, Text & Photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet/ Fatma Al Balushi