By Arab News
Saudi Arabia is pushing the envelope on environmental sustainability by aiming for carbon capture targets of 44 million tons annually by 2035 to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060.
Speaking at the Saudi Green Initiative in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the Kingdom is intently working toward producing clean hydrogen at the lowest costs.
On Thursday, Saudi Aramco joined hands with the Kingdom’s energy ministry to establish a carbon capture and storage hub on the east coast of Saudi Arabia in Jubail, aiming to have a storage capacity of up to 9 million tons of carbon dioxide a year by 2027.
This development came as energy economics was engulfed in geopolitics, fueling market volatility, business uncertainties and wavering environmental positions.
“The world hoped to crucify us because we are the biggest liquids exporter. We are going make the world accountable to us on what they deliver because we want people to match us and make sure people put their money where their mouth is,” said Prince Abdulaziz.
Speaking on the development in hydrogen production, he said: “We do not have to call it green, purple, yellow or pink. We must work on standardizing hydrogen and call it clean or low-carbon hydrogen. At the end of the day, we must agree on the quality of hydrogen and make sure it is acceptable for people to buy it.”
The energy minister also discussed the need to make hydrogen production affordable worldwide.
“We have the competitive edge. If you produce blue hydrogen, we will be the lowest-cost producer. If we go for the green hydrogen, we will still be the lowest-cost producer,” the minister noted.
Prince Abdulaziz further pointed out that Saudi Aramco has the lowest methane emissions. Moreover, the company had pledged to achieve the net-zero targets by 2050, 10 years ahead of the Kingdom’s net-zero goal.
The energy minister noted that Saudi Arabia could reach the net-zero target before 2060 but did not make any commitments.
“We believe there is a chance this can be brought earlier. But we want to ensure we deliver things on time when we commit. We hope to deliver ahead of time,” he added.
Meanwhile, during another session at the event, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said he is very concerned about the underinvestment in the energy sector, which will negatively affect the supply amid rising demand.
Nasser further noted that an unrealistic energy transition plan is the reason behind the supply and demand crisis in the sector.
Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of French firm TotalEnergis, also urged that the world needs affordable energy because the macro implications of the energy crisis could turn huge and even destabilize the global economy.