Tunisia lakes leap toward green hydrogen leadership with TotalEnergies deal

31 May 2024 | Upstream

Tunisia Pioneers Green Hydrogen: Partners with TotalEnergies and EREN Groupe for a Transformative Project

Tunisia has taken a significant step towards becoming a major player in the green hydrogen market, signing a memorandum of understanding with TotalEnergies and EREN Groupe, together with VERBUND, Austria's leading electricity company, to launch a groundbreaking project in the north African country,

The initiative, which targets 5 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity and 2 gigawatts of electrolysis capacity in its first phase, aims to produce 200,000 tonnes of green hydrogen annually, with the potential to scale up production to one million tonnes per year in South Tunisia. This marks a major milestone in Tunisia's Green Hydrogen Strategy, which seeks to leverage the country's strategic geographical location and existing infrastructure to become a key player and exporter in the regional market.

The project, named H2 Notos, will utilize solar and wind power to generate electricity, which will then be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis. The resulting green hydrogen will be used to power industrial processes, transportation, and energy generation, offering a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels.

TE H2, an 80/20 joint-venture formed by TotalEnergies and EREN Groupe, together with VERBUND, will be leading the development, financing, construction, and operation of the integrated project from production of green electricity to production of green hydrogen. In addition, VERBUND will coordinate the transport of the produced hydrogen towards Central Europe.

 “The signing of this MOU with the Republic of Tunisia marks the actual start of this highly ambitious project after months of work and interactions with all stakeholders,” CEO of TE H2, a joint venture between TotalEnergies and EREN Groupe for the project, David Corchia, said in an official statement.
“We are delighted to partner with VERBUND to support the development of such a pioneering and ambitious endeavor in such a strategic location. H2 Notos has the potential to become a significant supplier of green hydrogen for Europe while fostering significant jobs creation in Tunisia.”

Partnership for development

The deal marks a significant win for Tunisia, which has been actively courting international investment to drive its energy transition and economic growth.

"This agreement with TE H2 and VERBUND marks a significant step forward in our quest for clean, sustainable energy,”  Tunisia's Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy, Fatma Thabet Chiboub, said.

Tunisia, firmly committed to its energy transition, sees in this project a strategic pivot to strengthen its attractiveness as a destination of choice for foreign investment in renewable energies."

Tunisia's move comes as global demand for green hydrogen is gaining momentum, driven by governments and companies seeking to reduce carbon emissions and transition to cleaner energy sources. The European Union, in particular, has set ambitious targets to increase its green hydrogen production and consumption, creating a significant market opportunity for Tunisia and other producers.

As the global energy landscape continues to evolve, Tunisia's bold move into green hydrogen positions it as a key player in the region and a model for other countries seeking to transition to cleaner energy sources.
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