Saudi Aramco eyes hydrogen deals in Japan

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Saudi Aramco is considering hydrogen deals in Japan.

The sixth “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030” ministerial meeting was held in Tokyo under the auspices of the Saudi Ministry of Investment and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. On the Japanese side, Nishimura Yasutoshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Yamada Kenji, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, attended the meeting, with Nishimura giving the opening speech.

On the Saudi side, Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Investment, gave an opening speech, and was joined at the meeting by the Saudi Ambassador to Japan, Naif Al Fahadi. The minister said Saudi Arabia is “very keen to promote and strengthen this strategic partnership with Japan as a reliable partner.”

Al-Falih said the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 meeting took place just before Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s state visit to Japan from November 19-21. The Minister said that 89 of the initiatives in the vision are “being delivered, with some already completed”. He added that it was important not only to ensure the quantity of these initiatives, but also to highlight their quality.

Al-Falih said Saudi Arabia aims to be one of the fifteen largest economies in the world by the end of this decade.

Khalid Al-Falihthe Minister of Investment said:

The Saudi economy is already growing by 10.2% in the first three quarters of 2022.

“This is the fastest growth rate among the G20 economies.”

“We now have more than 40 industrial cities, already developed and many of them are home to Japanese people who are doing very well in the industrial sector,” he said. Al-Falih added that Japanese companies can invest in virtually any sector in Saudi Arabia.

Regarding space exploration, the Saudi minister said the Kingdom has developed a new space strategy to join the “top ten space nations by 2030 and become a global champion in space”.

“We will prioritize commercial returns from our space program, enhance your competitiveness and increase our space market share, and we would like to see Japan’s aerospace exploration agency JAXA participate in our space program,” he added.

Al-Falih told the audience at the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 meeting that Saudi Arabia plans to significantly increase its gas production capacity, including the production and export of LPG, which is key. of the Japanese economy.

“We are investing here in Japan with Showa Shell initially, now with Idemitsu, but we will also invest in Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Blue and green hydrogen is also important for Saudi Arabia’s agenda, Al-Falih said. “Blue and green hydrogen is being invested in Saudi Arabia on a scale that no one else is doing, and we started the discussion with our Japanese counterparts over a decade ago.” Al-Falih said he signed a memorandum of understanding during his last stay in Japan and helped join forces with the Japanese-led hydrogen council to signify and ARAMCO.

“At NEOM, the largest hydrogen project in the world is under construction and ARAMCO is investing to produce 11 million tons of blue hydrogen this is done in coordination and consultation with Japanese companies,” he explained.

Al-Falih praised Japan for the progress made for Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, adding that Saudi Arabia is actively working on hosting Expo 2030 in Riyadh. Nishimura, who is also chairman of the Japan-Saudi Parliamentary Friendship League, welcomed the Saudi delegation and stressed the importance of relations between the two countries.

Nishimura Yasutoshi, Minister of Economy, said:

For Japan, which imports around 40% of its crude oil from Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia is the most important partner in terms of energy security.

“I would like to once again express my gratitude for the stable supply of crude oil over the long term. I also expect Saudi Arabia to play a leading role in stabilizing the international market. crude oil, as the situation in Ukraine makes global energy supply and demand uncertain.

“Furthermore, the socio-economic reforms and mega-projects promoted by the Saudi leadership have become even more important as new engines of growth for the Middle East and for realizing the global trend towards carbon neutrality.”

“Japan will contribute to Saudi Arabia’s economic and social reforms through the Japan-Saudi Vision. Together with the Saudi people, we will further accelerate and expand our efforts. »

Nishimura explained that since the Fifth Ministerial Meeting two years ago, “steady progress” has been made. He reviewed some of the representative initiatives that included clean energy cooperation. “[Clean energy] is important for the oil-free reform that Saudi Arabia is aiming for.

Last month, JOGMEC and Saudi Aramco signed a comprehensive hydrogen and ammonia cooperation agreement. We will accelerate cooperation towards realizing a sustainable society,” he said.

Nishimura added that the demand for housing construction is “strong in Saudi Arabia”. “A Japanese building materials company has started a project to manufacture and supply houses in Saudi Arabia using a concrete 3D printer in cooperation with a Saudi conglomerate,” he said.

The Japanese minister said they were pursuing a plan to establish an R&D center in Namie town, Fukushima prefecture, to house and train around 100 Saudi engineers every year. He added that they will “contribute to the realization of a digital society with Japanese technology in specific areas such as construction.”

Another representative initiative includes cooperation in new areas that reflect Saudi Arabia’s social reforms.

In entertainment, e-sports competitions between the two countries have been held in Japan and Saudi Arabia. Moreover, during the 2nd Saudi Anime Expo held in Riyadh last month, many Saudi and Japanese cosplayers dressed up as Japanese anime characters such as “Dragon Ball” and “Kimetsu no Yaiba”.

“It is a great pleasure that the Japanese content industry is contributing to economic and social reform, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will continue to support this area,” he said. . “Finally, I would like to express my respect for the leadership of everyone present and the efforts of all the organizations involved in supporting the project, ‘Shukran Jazeelan’ (thank you very much),” Nishimura concluded as he thanked his guests in Arabic.

The event concluded with Minister Nishimura’s closing remarks, after which the delegations moved to another room for the signing of agreements and the exchange of gifts.

Strong points:

  • Saudi Arabia is “very keen to promote and strengthen this strategic partnership with Japan as a reliable partner”, said Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Investment.
  • He praised Japan for the progress made for Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, adding that Saudi Arabia is actively working on hosting Expo 2030 in Riyadh.

Sixth Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Ministerial Meeting Held in Tokyo, Tokyo, November 8, 2022

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