Jul 21

Saudi Green Hydrogen Project Taps Edmondson as CEO

Editorial Staff
May 9, 2022
Solar power is challenging natural gas for energy input costs in hydrogen production.
Image: Antonio Garcia via Unsplash.

Saudi Arabia’s NEOM mega project is pushing ahead with green hydrogen plans as its development venture has picked a boss, according to Saudi Gazette.

NEOM Green Hydrogen Company (NGHC), a venture between NEOM, Saudi-based ACWA Power and United-States-based Air Products tapped David Edmondson as Chief Executive Officer for the project. NGHC aims to begin producing green-hydrogen-based ammonia as early as 2026, with Air Products seeking exports to global markets.

Edmondson comes from Air Products where he has worked for over 34 years in various roles, most recently as Vice President for Business Transformation, according to his LinkedIn profile.  

“The appointment of David Edmondson as NGHC’s CEO is a natural follow-up to our recent agreement to build the world’s largest green hydrogen plant, which will produce 1.2 million tonnes of hydrogen per year,” Nadhmi Al-Nasr, the CEO of NEOM and Chairman of NGHC said in the Saudi Gazette report. “We aim to revolutionize the global energy market and create a circular economy as we redefine the parameters of sustainable living and abundant resource production, all in harmony with nature.”

The NEOM project is located in Northwest Saudi Arabia near the Suez Canal shipping hub and where the large number of sunshine hours bring down input costs on solar energy required to power production. Solar power is challenging natural gas on energy input costs in creating hydrogen. Meanwhile, green hydrogen from wind power is set to be cost competitive within the decade. The other main cost in creating green hydrogen is electrolysis, which separates hydrogen from water.

Air Products awarded thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers a contract to supply a more than two gigawatt (2 GW) electrolysis plant for the NEOM project in December. Under this contract, thyssenkrupp will engineer, procure and build the plant based on their large-scale 20 megawatt (MW) alkaline water electrolysis module, according to an Air Products statement.

When completed, the project partners ― NEOM, ACWA Power and Air Products will operate the facility, which will produce hydrogen to be synthesized into carbon-free ammonia.

The realization of the project leverages thyssenkrupp’s large-scale technology supporting Air Products’ development of green hydrogen for sustainable transportation, chemicals and power generation. 

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