ENOWA Issues Partnership Call at World Future Energy Summit  

  • Skills, Support & Resources Needed for Saudi Arabia’s NEOM Cognitive City 

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 17 January 2023: ENOWA, the energy, water and hydrogen division of Saudi Arabia’s NEOM – the world’s first cognitive city - has called for partners to step up to help realise the transformative circular economies of futuristic destination in the Kingdom’s Red Sea coastal province of Tabuk, which will be the size of Belgium.

The call came from Frank Brichou, ENOWA’s Executive Director of Customer & Digital, during the one-day ENOWA ENACT conference at the three-day World Future Energy Summit, which runs at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre until tomorrow night (January 18).

The conference heard how ENOWA, which is building the world's largest green hydrogen production plant, will operate a closely aligned water and energy utilities eco-system. It will produce more water than it will eventually need, exporting some to Jordan, while helping to restore the area’s natural vegetation by reinvigorating dormant flora and fauna through injection irrigation.

“We are partnering with nature but also need human business partners to realise the vast potential of NEOM. We need the skills, support and resources to realise NEOM’s transformative possibilities,” said Brichou.

The Executive Director explained that ENOWA is building a utilities eco-system which will see water and energy work closely together; “A lot of the data relevant to water utilities is also relevant to energy utilities and it makes sense to integrate where we can, to synergise energy and water activities,” he said.

NEOM will be 100% powered by renewables - wind and solar - being one of only five destinations in the world with exceptional levels of winds and sun resources to enable the ambition,” said Brichou, who added: “storage will play a role in the final eco-systems.”

Brichou said that digital innovation is fundamental to building the renewable, carbon-free, low-cost ENOWA eco-system, which would also be characterised by low leakage to provide competitive pricing, the sale of desalination sulphate and magnesium bi-product and green hydrogen production. The company is currently building the world’s biggest green hydrogen production plant in an equal joint venture with Air Products and ACWA Power which is due to come on-stream in 2025. The green hydrogen will be exported and used in NEOM for a variety of solutions, including fuelling clean, autonomous electric vehicles.

The ENOWA management team were prominent at the World Future Energy Summit Solar & Clean Energy Forum, where they delivered presentations and case studies and joined in panel discussions covering smart grids, the routes to net zero and overcoming roadblocks to the circular economy.

Franck Bernard, Director Flexibility Certificates at ENOWA, said work is underway on developing world-class, sustainable energy and water utilities to provide the critical infrastructure for NEOM's key projects: including its revolutionary THE LINE urban development, its reimaged OXAGON industrial city and the TROJENA sustainable mountain tourism destination. 

“NEOM's goal is to ensure all its residents and industries are powered by affordable 100% renewable energy and will be the world’s first project to enable this at scale and set the stage for other global sustainability projects,” he said. He pointed out that ENOWA is representing NEOM as the principal shareholder in the world's largest green hydrogen production plant, due onstream in 2025, in an equal joint venture with Air Products and ACWA Power. 

“This will be the first of several similar plants to make NEOM a hub for green hydrogen production and innovation, with its output being exported and used in NEOM for a variety of solutions, including fueling clean, autonomous electric vehicles,” he explained.

Bernard added that NEOM's water and wastewater system is designed to be completely sustainable, delivering low-cost water. Powered by 100% renewable energy, its advanced desalination plants will not put anything back into the sea and will deliver drinkable, mineralised water to all in NEOM, directly to the tap or out of a bottling plant. A significant element of the desalination process is planned to be the production of valuable materials from seawater. ENOWA plans the desalination output to produce significant quantities of valuable, industrial materials, such as industrial-grade salt, magnesium, and potassium, which can be sold commercially and effectively.

ENOWA’s Director of Business Development, Ralph De Haan, presented a case study on ‘Incubating and accelerating solutions in green hydrogen’’ while Thorsten Schwarz, Executive Director, Grid Technology & Projects presented on the circular economy of energy outlining its role and that of governments, the roadblocks and how to overcome them, the regulatory considerations, stakeholders and impact.

"NEOM is committed to sustainability and the creation of a circular economy. This lies at the heart of the project, and it is vital to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and its goal for net zero emissions by 2060," he explained. “This innovative approach will be a blueprint for new, sustainable industries in Saudi Arabia whilst creating a vibrant economic sector.”

The World Future Energy Summit is hosted by Masdar and is part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, a global platform for accelerating the world’s sustainable development. The event is held in partnership with ENOWA.

For more information, please visit: https://www.worldfutureenergysummit.com/