Saudi Aramco Explores Hydrogen Advancements With HHI Group

Operators At A Saudi Aramco Facility (Image courtesy of Saudi Aramco)

Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings (HHIH), a holding company of HHI Group, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in hydrogen and ammonia-related businesses with Saudi Aramco.

Through the agreement, the two parties are seeking opportunities for hydrogen and ammonia research and development. Hyundai Oilbank, the oil refinery unit of HHIH, plans to cooperate with Saudi Aramco on the realization of a “carbon zero” process, and Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE), the shipbuilding unit of HHIH, plans to develop the world’s first combined ship capable of carrying both liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cargoes and captured carbon dioxide (CO2).

Under an MoU, Hyundai OilBank will import liquefied petroleum gas from Saudi Aramco which it will then convert into blue hydrogen. The hydrogen will be used at desulfurization facilities at Hyundai Oilbank refineries and be on the market for fuels of vehicles and power plants. In addition, Hyundai Oilbank plans to establish a supply chain for the sale of hydrogen produced by opening up to 300 hydrogen charging stations by 2040 across South Korea.

It will also promote a business using ammonia fuel. Hyundai Oilbank plans to receive blue ammonia from Saudi Aramco and use it as fuel for liquefied natural gas (LNG) boilers scheduled to be established by 2024. If ammonia is used as a power plant fuel, carbon dioxide emissions will be significantly reduced which make the process more environmentally friendly, the company said.

The two parties will also strengthen cooperation in the shipbuilding business. KSOE will be the first shipbuilder to develop a ship that can carry both liquefied petroleum gas cargoes and captured carbon dioxide at once. The company is also pursuing the development of ammonia carriers and propulsion ships.

“Through this MoU, Saudi Aramco and HHI Group have built a strategic partnership to discover new and ambitious business opportunities in the field of blue hydrogen and blue ammonia, which are future energy fuels,” said Ahmad A. Al Sa’adi, senior vice-president of technical services at Saudi Aramco. “This cooperation is expected to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions through carbon capturing process.”