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Comment Sustainability

Aramco and Sabic awarded world’s first TÜV certificate of accreditation for blue hydrogen and ammonia

By Mary Page Bailey |

The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia) and the SABIC Agri-Nutrients Company (SABIC AN), have obtained the world’s first independent certifications recognizing “blue” hydrogen and ammonia production.

The certifications were granted by TÜV Rheinland, a leading independent testing, inspection and certification agency based in Germany, to SABIC AN, in Jubail, for 37,800 tons of “blue” ammonia and to Aramco’s wholly-owned refinery (SASREF), also in Jubail, for 8,075 tons of “blue” hydrogen. To certify ammonia and hydrogen as “blue”, a significant part of the CO2 associated with the manufacturing process needs to be captured and utilized in downstream applications.

Olivier Thorel, Aramco Vice President of Chemicals, said: “These certifications are the first of their kind in the world and signify a major milestone in our efforts to develop clean energy solutions, and advance our hydrogen and ammonia export capabilities. This independent recognition reinforces the work of Aramco and SABIC in decarbonizing multiple sectors, including energy, aviation, transportation chemicals and fertilizer industries.”

SABIC Agri-Nutrients CEO, Abdulrahman Shamsaddin, said: “We are indeed proud of this certification, which is part of our journey towards carbon neutrality. We are confident of further boosting growth with our low carbon portfolio helping our fertilizers as well as chemicals customers achieve their very own sustainability ambitions. We are fully aware that the current global industry challenges related to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions will require us to accelerate our pace of innovation to further strengthen our sustainability commitment. We are well positioned to move forward in this direction.”

SABIC Vice President, Energy Efficiency and Carbon Management, Fahad Al-Sherehy said: “We are leveraging our strong existing infrastructure to produce blue ammonia that can help meet the world’s growing needs for sustainable solutions. To help achieve Saudi Arabia’s target for net-zero by 2060 as part of the Saudi Green Initiative, SABIC recognizes that hydrogen will play an essential role in decarbonisation and it is part of SABIC’s overall roadmap toward carbon neutrality by 2050, with a 20% reduction target in carbon emissions by 2030. Furthermore, SABIC is exploring opportunities to utilize hydrogen for green chemistry to strengthen its sustainable solution offerings.”

In 2020, Aramco and SABIC collaborated on the world’s first shipment of blue ammonia, a carrier of hydrogen, from Saudi Arabia to Japan. Forty tons of high-grade blue ammonia were dispatched for use in low-carbon power generation.

The new certifications represent another milestone for Aramco and SABIC to become global leaders in hydrogen and ammonia. Aramco has recently announced its target to produce up to 11 million tons per annum of blue ammonia by 2030, and is currently developing carbon capture and hydrogen capabilities. Blue hydrogen production will contribute to Aramco’s ambition to achieve net-zero scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions across its wholly owned operations by 2050.

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