Saudi Arabia launches program to develop hydrogen fuel cell-based mobility

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Saudi Arabia has announced a series of hydrogen-based programs aimed making its transport sector more sustainable. Among them is the use of hydrogen fuel cell-based technologies for trains.

Last week (January 20) the minister of energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, revealed the country has signed eight MoU’s with a number of partners to implement hydrogen fuel cell-based pilot projects for cars, buses and trains. The country is also exploring sustainable jet fuel production.

During the announcement, Salman said, “This step is taken simultaneously with the drafting of the hydrogen strategy, which arises from the integrated energy strategy that lays out the objectives, road map, and implementation timeline.”

According to Salman, the MoU’s are a real boost to the country’s Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the Kingdom’s energy sources to become a leader in all areas of energy, not just in oil.

In the rail sector, an MoU has been signed with Saudi Railways Company for the development of hydrogen fuel cell-based trains. It has not been revealed yet where or how the project will take place.

However, overall, the eight MoU’s will take place in several different locations throughout the Kingdom, such as NEOM, the Red Sea, Princess Nora Bint Abdulrahman University, Makkah, Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu, and airport runways. Hydrogen production and fueling stations are also to be built in some of these areas to supply these projects with hydrogen fuel.

The projects will be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy, partners and many global companies that provide the technologies for these applications to establish a complete conceptual understanding of hydrogen fuel-based transportation applications.