RIYADH: NEOM’s first phase of its green hydrogen facilities are set to come online in 2025, according to the megacity’s CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr.

He made the claim at the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh on Thursday.

Al-Nasr added that the company is also creating universities, which will specialise in technical, research and innovation in new industries, specifically mining.

NEOM is doing this to attract the best students in the world to come and be prepared for the research and innovation for the future of mining, Al-Nasr explained.

“It is time for the mining industry to compete with the oil industry,” he said, adding: “Oil has made the big move to move to the next generation we need the same in the mining sector.”

In July 2020, NEOM, ACWA Power and US-based Air Products signed an agreement for a $5 billion world-scale green hydrogen-based ammonia production facility powered by renewable energy.

Al-Nasr also told the forum that the $500 billion megacity project is starting with “no legacy” when it comes to mining but has ambitions to bring “technology and innovation” to the sector.

He acknowledged that mining has a bad reputation, saying: “No matter what we do, mining perception is not good enough yet.”

Al-Nasr added: “We are digging into technology and innovation and the call for how can we bring aboard a green full chain mining from the mining field all the way to export and in-between industry.”

NEOM will be powered entirely by clean energy and will cover 10,000 square miles, an area 33 times the size of New York.

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