Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil-exporting company and fertiliser producer Sabic Agri-Nutrients (Sabic AN) received the world’s first independent certificate of accreditation for producing blue hydrogen and ammonia products, as they focus on decarbonising their operations.
TUV Rheinland, an independent testing, inspection and certification agency based in Germany, awarded certificates to the two companies, they said in a joint statement on Thursday.
Sabic AN, a unit of the Middle East’s largest petrochemicals company, Sabic, was recognised for producing 37,800 tonnes of blue ammonia, while Sasref, a wholly owned refinery of Saudi Aramco, received the certificate for producing 8,075 tonnes of blue hydrogen.
“The new certifications represent another milestone for Aramco and Sabic to become global leaders in hydrogen and ammonia,” the statement said.
To certify ammonia and hydrogen as blue, a significant part of the carbon dioxide associated with the manufacturing process should be captured and utilised in downstream applications.
The demand for hydrogen continues to rise as the world focuses on cutting emissions to limit global warming.
Globally, the size of the hydrogen industry is expected to hit $183 billion by 2023, up from $129bn in 2017, according to Fitch Solutions. French investment bank Natixis estimates that investment in hydrogen will exceed $300bn by 2030.
“Sabic recognises that hydrogen will play an essential role in decarbonisation and it is part of Sabic’s overall road map toward carbon neutrality by 2050, with a 20 per cent reduction target in carbon emissions by 2030,” said Fahad Al Sherehy, Sabic's vice president of energy efficiency and carbon management.
The new initiatives will also support Saudi Arabia’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2060, he said.
Aramco recently announced it targets to produce up to 11 million tonnes per annum of blue ammonia by 2030 and is currently developing carbon capture and hydrogen capabilities. Blue hydrogen production is expected to contribute to its target to become carbon neutral by 2050.
In 2020, Aramco and Sabic also collaborated on the world's first shipment of blue ammonia, a carrier of hydrogen, from Saudi Arabia to Japan. Forty tonnes of high-grade blue ammonia was sent for use in low-carbon power generation in the Asian country.