$5b hydrogen project – Saudi Neom joint venture working with Lazard

Hydrogen’s popularity increases as the future green fuel of choice

Financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard, has been hired to advise on a planned $5 billion hydrogen project in the Neom high-tech business zone in Saudi Arabia, according to sources.  The project is a joint venture, equally owned by three partners: Saudi energy developer ACWA Power, Air Products (the globe’s largest hydrogen producer) and Neom.

The project looks to produce 1.2 million tonnes a year of green ammonia which will be exported to global markets.  The $5 billion project in Neom will use hydrogen produced from an electrolyser powered by more than 4 GW of solar, wind and storage; with production expected to begin in 2025.

Having advised Aramco on its IPO back in 2019, Lazard has more recently had talks with banks in order to gauge interest in the project, according to sources.

Tens of billions of dollars are expected to be lent this year to Saudi Arabia in order to fill state coffers which have been hit by lower oil prices.  This borrowing will also boost liquidity at state entities such as Neom’s key investor, the Public Investment Fund (PIF)

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, also unveiled plans this week to build a zero-carbon city at Neom, with infrastructure costs of $100 billion to $200 billion.

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