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Morocco and the Netherlands join forces for the production of green hydrogen

Morocco and the Netherlands are strengthening their cooperation in the production of green hydrogen. Indeed, partnership projects should soon see the light of day as agreed at the end of a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the World Hydrogen Summit & Exhibition 2022 in Rotterdam last June, including the construction of a new ammonia production plant. green in Jorf Lasfar, Morocco.

Various partnership projects between Moroccan and Dutch operators in green hydrogen had been discussed. Dutch players in the sector have seen “significant potential” for Morocco to develop this new sector of energy transition. It was also an opportunity to highlight Morocco’s achievements in the field of renewable energies. Unlike fossil fuels, anyone can produce hydrogen, but the conditions and costs differ, this is where Morocco can play a really important role in global production. Later, it came to fruition.

Indeed, on July 19, 2022, following a successful bidding process, an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement was signed between Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and Proton Ventures, in the presence of the Institute for Research on Solar Energy and New Energies (IRESEN) and Mr. Fred Duijn, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Rabat, Morocco. The collaboration between these parties was to materialize the turnkey construction of an ammonia plant that converts green hydrogen and nitrogen into green ammonia via the Haber-Bosch process.

Also, by granting a loan facility, based on a working capital guarantee through Atradius Dutch State Business to the engineering company Proton Ventures of Schiedam, Invest International made it possible to launch the construction of a new green ammonia production plant in Jorf Lasfar, Morocco. Proton Ventures uses its innovative technology to produce ammonia from clean energy sources. Joost Oorthuizen, Managing Director of Invest International said on the occasion “We are delighted to finance this loan as it will promote economic growth in Morocco and make the country a continental hub for the future production of green hydrogen. In the future, Europe will have to source energy from abroad. Morocco is a good place for large-scale hydrogen production because there is a lot of wind, sun and land. A combination that we do not have on this scale in Northern Europe”.

Ditto for the Managing Director of Atradius Dutch State Business, Bert Bruning, “We are delighted to enable the financing of an important innovation in the energy transition thanks to our working capital insurance policy. This project and its partners clearly make a unique contribution to the production and trade of green hydrogen and, moreover, strengthen the ties between the Netherlands and Morocco, a trading partner. We are also proud that together with our partner Invest International, we can make a difference with this financing”. Paul Baan, Managing Director of Proton Ventures declared for his part that “This first ammonia/green hydrogen project is of great importance for the energy transition towards renewable sources. This industrial-scale research facility will provide unique operational insights to enable further expansion in Morocco and beyond and foster the training of more hydrogen/ammonia experts.”

The plant, called GAPP (Green Ammonia Pilot Plant), will produce green ammonia with a capacity of four tonnes per day using the Haber-Bosch process. The pilot plant will be equipped with an emulator capable of simulating different electrical load profiles, in particular the hybridization of photovoltaic (PV) cells and wind energy, in different geographical areas in Morocco and other countries around the world. Two electrolyzers of two megawatts each, drawing their energy from solar and wind power, will then be able to produce four tonnes of green ammonia every day. The partners expect to be able to produce the first green ammonia in the first quarter of 2024. The plant will also be equipped with a so-called emulator capable of simulating different electrical load profiles, including those of solar cells and wind energy.

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