Saudi Arabia hosted recently the Dakar Desert Rally in its third Saudi edition.
This edition witnessed a significant change in the cars of this global race, as the competition will include a hydrogen-powered truck for the first time, at a time when Saudi Aramco has played an important role in this technical scene.
“Saudi Aramco has endeavored to create fuel technology through its research institutes,” stated Ahmed Abdulrahman Al-Saadi, Senior Vice President of Technical Services at Saudi Aramco.
In June 2019, it opened the Kingdom’s first hydrogen fuelling station, in collaboration with Air Products, at the headquarters of Air Products’ new technological center in Dhahran Techno Valley. The plant will deliver high-purity compressed hydrogen to automobiles for an initial fleet of Toyota Mirai electric vehicles fueled by hydrogen fuel cells.”
“Keeping up with the scene, Saudi Aramco signed five memorandums of understanding with leading French companies last December, including a memorandum of understanding to explore business opportunities in hydrogen-powered vehicles with JOSEN, a leader in clean and smart transportation solutions,” he continued.
The MOU with JOSEN intends to examine the viability of creating a modern facility in the Kingdom for the manufacturing of hydrogen-powered cars.
Saudi Aramco’s Center for Advanced Innovations (Lab7) will be intimately involved in the efforts of the hydrogen-powered vehicle manufacturer Goosen, as well as the creation of a hydrogen-powered autonomous or remote-controlled racing truck.”
“The use of hydrogen fuel also helps cut emissions in the transportation industry, particularly in the difficult-to-decarbonize category of large vehicles,” he added.
Through the Center for Advanced Innovations, we at Saudi Aramco hope to localize the hydrogen car sector in the Kingdom and develop associated technologies, he explained.
Saudi Aramco already produces grey hydrogen, which is derived from fossil fuels and can continue its attempts to develop blue hydrogen owing to its low-cost hydrocarbon production and enormous resource base.
According to Al-Saadi, there is a constant increase of applications in which hydrogen may be used to eliminate carbon in sectors where it was previously impossible to dilute it, such as heavy vehicles, maritime sectors, iron and steel, and petrochemicals.