December 7, 2022

Saudi Aramco signs hydrogen deal as Bezos, Musk and Blair address B20 rally

RIYADH: Oil giant Saudi Aramco took advantage of the gathering of business leaders ahead of the Group of Twenty summit of world leaders to sign an agreement with Indonesian energy firm Pertamina to explore collaboration across the oil value chain hydrogen and ammonia.

The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the so-called B20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, as Saudi Arabia and the host country plan to reach net zero by 2060.

The MoU involves a pre-feasibility study which aims to assess the possibility of cooperation related to the development of a clean value chain for ammonia and hydrogen.

The agreement also includes potential carbon capture, use and storage at Pertamina Group’s existing facilities and at other agreed potential locations.

The pre-feasibility study, which will be conducted over the next two years, will also explore the viability of investing in the development of business structures for clean ammonia and hydrogen in Indonesia.

“As a company, our ambition is to achieve net Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions across all of our 100% owned operating assets by 2050,” the CEO said. Aramco Senior Vice President, Downstream, Mohammed Al-Qahtani.

Saudi Aramco had pledged to achieve net zero goals by 2050, 10 years ahead of the Kingdom’s net zero goal.

Al-Qahtani added, “Our work in developing new energy pathways for ammonia and hydrogen will be key to achieving this goal while helping to advance an affordable, equitable and more sustainable transition for all.”

Nicke Widyawati, CEO of Pertamina, said the energy transition should not compromise energy security and affordability, especially for countries heavily dependent on fossil fuels.

“Hydrogen and ammonia are expected to play a key role in a future climate-neutral economy, enabling emissions-free power generation, heavy transport, heating and industrial processes,” Widyawati said.

Last week, at the United Nations Climate Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman announced that the ministry had partnered with Aramco to establish a carbon capture and storage hub as the Kingdom steadily continues its journey towards sustainability.

Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said the new carbon capture and storage center will be located on the east coast of Saudi Arabia in Jubail.

Nasser added that the hub will have a storage capacity of up to 9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2027.

As part of the B20 event, Amazon Founder and Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos used a pre-recorded speech to urge world leaders not to view sustainability policies as detrimental to economic growth.

“Let’s not get stuck in the mindset of one or the other,” he said, adding, “Many business leaders and government leaders would like to be bold in reducing environmental damage, but they fear it will increase costs and hurt growth, but we now know that smart action on climate change doesn’t just stop bad things from happening, it can also improving resource efficiency, stimulating new technologies, reducing uncertainty and opening up new opportunities.

Bezos reaffirmed his promise to power all Amazon operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, and said the company was working to convert its delivery fleet to electric vehicles.

He also set out the criteria by which the Bezos Earth Fund will distribute $10 billion in grants by 2030.

“These include phasing out internal combustion engines, decarbonizing steel and cement, increasing food crop yields, reducing food losses and empowering indigenous communities to manage rainforests,” the businessman said, adding, “For each of these factors, we try to identify how close they are to positive tipping points and what barriers we can help remove in order to cross those points. tipping.”

Elon Musk also took part in the conference, which negotiates a rocky start to his reign as Twitter CEO, including confusion over the so-called “blue tick” system.

Taking part in a discussion via a video link, Musk said it was “obvious” that the social networking site needs to focus more on video content, which would benefit users.

“Twitter is willing to give content creators a revenue share to earn a living,” he said.

Reflecting on the controversies surrounding his tenure with the organization, he said: “There’s no way to make everybody happy, that’s for sure.”

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair used a pre-recorded speech at the event to insist that the world of the 21st century represents an “entirely new economy”.

“The premium goes to educated people who can develop the skills of the future and who understand how this technological revolution works,” he said.

Blair argued that technology would not just change the way people live and work, but “all cultures”, and massive investments are needed not only in education but also in health care.

“We have seen how much damage the pandemic could cause, not only to people’s health – 15 million additional deaths worldwide – but to the trillions of dollars lost in the pandemic,” he said, adding “If we produce better health, it will add billions more to the global economy.

“Better health equals better productivity equals higher growth.”