Air Liquide Arabia (ALAR) began pumping hydrogen through its Yanbu pipeline network to the Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery (SAMREF) earlier this week, according to reports.

When Air Liquide announced the start-up of its global-scale hydrogen production site in Yanbu Industrial City, on the West coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in 2015 it represented the largest industrial investment (€350m) and largest ‘over-the-fence’ hydrogen contract of the group to date.

Hydrogen allows for the reduction of the sulfur content of the produced fuels at refineries, and to meet the environmental standards for cleaner transportation fuels.

This is significant in the oil and gas-based economies of the Middle East and for Saudi Arabia in particular, with the Kingdom having signalled a shift towards cleaner fuels as part of its Vision 2030 programme.

Speaking about that plan in November 2019 and its impact, gasworld Business Intelligence Manager Karina Kocha, said, “Vision 2030, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) programme of long-term development, provides the development of the non-oil sectors, attracting foreign direct investment and growing contribution of renewables to national energy mix.”

“Programme goals are to position KSA as a global logistic hub and further integrate the Saudi economy regionally and globally, developing local companies into regional and global leaders.” This will have a positive impact on the industrial gas market in the region, Kocha added, with the introduction of new technologies and value-added products.