A Competence Centre at GUtech for Green Hydrogen Research, Technology, Education, Application and Economy to develop and enable Oman´s Competencies for the Green Hydrogen Economy
HALBAN Approved by the Ministry of Higher Education, yesterday, on January 27th, 2020 in a ceremony at the History of Science Centre of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), the “OMAN Hydrogen Centre” was launched today morning. In the launch ceremony Dr. Hussain Al Salmi, Deputy-Rector for Administration and Finances at GUtech, welcomed many high-ranking guests, which further underlined the importance of this new centre. The ceremony was held under the auspices of H.E. Azza Al Ismaili, Minister of Technology and Communications, and among other dignitaries H.E. Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas. Also present were the Ambassadors of Germany and Japan as well as several representatives of local and international industry.
The OMAN Hydrogen Centre is the first of its kind and will serve as the centre of knowledge in hydrogen technology in Oman and beyond – regionally in the GCC. Green Hydrogen – produced from renewable energies – is of central global importance as a new energy carrier in the changing global energy industry. Both as a supplement to and, especially in the long term, successively replacing oil and gas.
This perspective was emphatically confirmed by national and international experts at the “First Oman Hydrogen Symposium” at GUtech on October 9th, 2019 demonstrating a market volume perspective of up to 20 billion US$ in 2050 for the local economy. Oman’s geographical position and geological structure offer the chance to position Oman as a leading global producer and supplier for green hydrogen satisfying the fast-growing worldwide demand.
The production, domestic use and export of green hydrogen can be fundamental for the economic future of Oman and will play a key role for the economic diversification and job creation efforts in the local energy industry and economy in general.
Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech, explained in detail the role, tasks and objectives of the Oman Hydrogen Centre. As a competence hub, it will create hydrogen expertise and knowledge in Oman in all relevant fields to support the future participation of Oman in the fast-growing global hydrogen market. In this role, the centre will provide decisive impulses, guidelines and roadmaps for industry and government and bundle forces for the development of a hydrogen economy involving the production, storing, transporting, utilizing and exporting of green hydrogen.
This will be achieved through cooperative research and international exchange of knowledge and experience, network building, academic and industrial training and study concepts, consulting for institutions, applied research, exploring technical innovations and new application scenarios as well as the development of economic models. In this way, the centre supports the development hydrogen of competencies, the significant creation of new in-country jobs and can develop into a leading force of the hydrogen economy in the Gulf region.
The centre will be responsible for creating domestic and international academic, industrial, economic and transdisciplinary partnerships which will attract international experts to the country. Using these partnerships, in particular, educational programs to generate the best-skilled workforce in hydrogen technology on all levels will be established – for researchers as well as hydrogen plant and process designers or plant operators. Undergraduate and graduate courses will be developed and the centre will provide seminars and workshops to train personnel from industry and government in different field of hydrogen technology.
HE Thomas Friedrich Schneider, German Ambassador to the Sultanate said that currently the share of renewable energies in Germany’s electricity supply has reached 45%. The target of 65% in 2030 can only be achieved by importing Green Hydrogen from countries as Oman. The Ambassador also highlighted the importance to enter an Oman-German Energy dialogue.
The founding partner and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Hydrogen Rise AG, Olav Carlsen, provided an overview of the long-term economic potential of green hydrogen for Oman. He described the impending global change in the energy industry, its triggers and consequences and the need for building local competencies in Oman to compete with similar efforts all around the globe. He pointed out the urgency for concerted action between government, research and industry, as a central success factor in this change.