Tunisia inked on Monday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with French group TotalEnergies and Austrian group Verbund to implement a project to produce green hydrogen (H2V) in Tunisia and export it to Europe by pipeline.

This project aims in its 1st phase to produce 200,000 tonnes of H2V per year, and to create some 5,000 megawatts of renewable energy and 2,000 megawatts of electrolysis technology.

The production capacity is expected to reach 1 million tonnes/year, with the creation of 25 gigawatts of renewable energy, at an investment cost of around €6 billion (around TND 19.8 billion) for the 1st phase and €40 billion (TND 132 billion) for the final phase by 2050.

This MoU is part of the activation of the national strategy for the development of green hydrogen and its by-products in Tunisia, launched in October 2023, Secretary of State to the Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy, in charge of energy transition Wael Chouchane told the media.

The Industry, Mines and Energy Ministry seeks to produce 8.3 million tonnes of H2V by 2050 and genrate some 430,000 jobs.

Tunisia's strategic position in the region (close to Europe) will help it play an important role in boosting H2V production and export, he pointed out.

As for the project's funding, Chouchane said that the investors are French and Austrian, with the possibility of including international financing from several other parties.

The final phase aims to produce 1 million tonnes of H2V/year, and to create around 25,000 megawatts of renewable energy and around 10,000 megawatts of electrolysis.

The official further indicated that the 1st phase of this protocol includes the launch of technical studies for the project, which are estimated to cost tens of millions of euros.

In this respect, he said that studies had identified a site for the H2V production. Visits would be made to a number of sites, pending agreement with the government on the site to be selected, he added.

Tunisia will be the main site in the world for the production of green hydrogen by Total Energies, he pointed out.

Given the interest shown by some international groups in investing in Tunisia in the production of green hydrogen, the Secretary of State announced that similar agreements will soon be signed with international companies.

For his part, TotalEnergies Director General of Gas, Renewables & Power (GRP) Stéphane Michel said that the signing of this MoU will help the French and Austrian groups to be among the founders and pioneers of the project to produce H2V in Tunisia and throughout the world, as part of a dynamic partnership with Tunisia.

Michel further highlighted the importance of this project in terms of size and export via pipelines, which are almost the only technology for transporting hydrogen to European Union countries.

"Total Energies" has embarked on a new phase based on the development of numerous clean and renewable energy projects, including the production of green hydrogen as part of an energy transition, he underlined.

He also highlighted Tunisia's strategic location in terms of renewable energies (solar and wind power), as well as its proximity to a major consumer market in Europe.

Tunisia represents an ideal location in the world for the successful production of green hydrogen and its export to Europe, he said.

Taking the floor, Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy Fatma Thabet Chiboub presented the energy projects that Tunisia has been implementing to export energy to Europe from the gas pipeline between Algeria and Italy, passing through Tunisia, since the 80s.

Tunisia was the first country in the southern Mediterranean to sign a partnership agreement with the European Union, he indicated, underlining Tunisia's choice to open up and internalise its industrial companies.

According to her, the signing of this MoU will help the country become a pioneer in this type of innovative project and will give concrete expression to the complementarity between the north and south of the Mediterranean.

The MoU was signed by Chiboub, Michel and Managing Director VERBUND Green Hydrogen GmbH Franz Helm.

© Tap 2022 Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).