Design and early works are now underway for the $5bn Helios Green Fuels hydrogen project in Saudi Arabia, an industry source tells MEED.

This development follows a report in January that the team behind the project has hired Bermuda-based financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard to advise it on the project.

Lazard, which is one of the financial advisers to Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering in 2019, is understood to have approached banks to sound out their appetite for the project.

US-based Air Products, Saudi Arabia’s utilities developer Acwa Power and Neom signed an agreement in July for the hydrogen-based ammonia production facility powered by renewable energy.

The project, which will be equally owned by the three partners, will be located in Neom, Saudi Arabia’s $500bn Giga project.

It was announced that the planned facility will integrate 4GW of renewable power from solar, wind and storage, the production of 650t a day of hydrogen by electrolysis using ThyssenKrupp technology, the production of nitrogen by air separation using Air Products technology and the production of 1.2Mt annually of green ammonia using Haldor Topsoe technology.

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MEED understands the developer team is expected to issue the request for proposals (RFP) imminently for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the project’s various components.

In October, the developer team issued the RFP for 380-kilovolt (kV) substations and a 380kV transmission line package that will cater to the project.

A local media report said three 380kV substations have been proposed for the project, including one each for the solar PV and wind farm plants.

The kingdom’s Helios green fuels project is scheduled to become operational in 2025.

Air Products will be the exclusive offtake of the green ammonia and intends to transport it around the world to be dissociated to produce green hydrogen for the transportation market.

This article is published by MEED, the world’s leading source of business intelligence about the Middle East. MEED provides exclusive news, data and analysis on the Middle East every day. For access to MEED’s Middle East business intelligence, subscribe here.