TAQA Leads Ambitious $10 Billion Green Hydrogen Project in Western Sahara

Abu Dhabi’s national energy company, TAQA, is embarking on a significant venture with a planned investment of 100 billion Moroccan dirhams, equivalent to a substantial $10 billion. This substantial financial commitment is earmarked for a colossal 6-gigawatt (GW) green h2 project, underscoring the growing global interest in sustainable energy initiatives. The strategic focus on green hydrogen aligns with the increasing recognition of hydrogen’s potential as a clean and versatile energy carrier.

The chosen location for this ambitious project is the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region, situated in Western Sahara. Notably, Western Sahara holds a special status as a “non-self-governing territory” according to the United Nations. However, Morocco asserts control over the region, listing Dakhla-Oued Eddahab as one of its twelve administrative regions. This designation stems from a 1979 pledge of allegiance by local representatives to the Moroccan kingdom. The choice of this location adds an additional layer of complexity to the project, considering the geopolitical considerations surrounding Western Sahara.

In tandem with TAQA’s endeavors, TotalEnergies’ subsidiary, Total Eren, has made a substantial land acquisition in the Guelmim-Oued Noun administrative region, securing 170,000 hectares. This acquisition is a pivotal component of a 100 billion dirham initiative, focusing on harnessing 10 gigawatts of wind and solar energy. The commitment to a diversified renewable energy portfolio is evident in the broader industry trends, emphasizing the need for multiple clean energy sources to meet growing global demand.

Further contributing to the renewable energy landscape in the region, CWP Global, a prominent developer in the industry, has outlined plans for a large-scale renewable ammonia facility. This proposed facility is slated for construction in the city of Tan-Tan, within the same region. Impressively, it aims to incorporate a total capacity of 15 gigawatts, combining both wind and solar energy sources. The scale and scope of these projects underscore the substantial investments and collaborative efforts being directed toward expanding renewable energy infrastructure.

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In a parallel development, Morocco’s state-owned fertilizer giant, OCP, is making substantial commitments to the green energy transition. OCP has pledged a substantial investment of $7 billion for the establishment of a one-million-tonne-per-year green NH3 (ammonia) plant in Tarfaya. This plant is anticipated to commence operations in 2027, contributing significantly to the production of green ammonia—a key component in the evolving landscape of sustainable fertilizers and energy carriers.

Additionally, OCP is allocating $1.5 billion from its balance sheet to initiate a 200,000-tonne-per-year green ammonia pilot project. This pilot is earmarked for an existing site near the port of Jorf Lasfar, with operational commencement expected in 2026. These initiatives by OCP underscore the multifaceted approach taken by major industry players, combining large-scale projects with targeted pilots to explore and optimize green ammonia production.

While these ventures represent significant strides towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly energy landscape, it is crucial to note that many of these projects are still in the early stages of development. The industry is navigating a complex landscape, and international companies are exercising caution, refraining from final investment decisions until the release of the Moroccan government’s highly anticipated “Hydrogen Offer.”

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