Kazakhstan, France to Forge Partnership in Hydrogen Energy Development

NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakh Embassy in France and Kazakh Invest national company organized a webinar on April 14 to explore the prospects for cooperation between Kazakhstan and France in hydrogen energy development, reports the Kazakh Invest press service. 

A hydrogen production plant. Photo credit: energynews.pro

The webinar that gathered Kazakh and French government representatives and experts was designed to share the experience of French companies working in the hydrogen sector and invite them to participate in developing the sector in Kazakhstan. 

This area is of growing importance for Kazakhstan given its commitment to decarbonize the economy and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, according to Ambassador of Kazakhstan to France Jean Galiev. 

He also emphasized the importance of this dialogue as the two countries enter the second decade of the strategic partnership. Last year, Kazakhstan and France signed the road map for the economic and investment cooperation until 2030, where the development of technological and environmental projects is among the priorities.

Kazakhstan wants to explore possibilities for hydrogen production and use, a topic that was raised by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev last year. He said back then that the world has entered a new phase where global energy begins to shift from fossil fuels to renewables, hydrogen and nuclear energies. According to him, Kazakhstan has the scientific capacity and the qualified experts to create an industrial cluster of hydrogen energy production.

Foreign investors are eager to explore the hydrogen sector in Kazakhstan, said Task Force Managing Director at Kazakh Invest Azamat Kozhanov. 

“Today, the country is studying the possibility of implementing large projects in the production of green hydrogen. The foreign investors are ready to study five regions of Kazakhstan for the economic feasibility of implementing major projects. Probably, we are now living through the last decade of high oil prices and we are determined to fit into the new global supply chains of the fuel energy industry,” said Kozhanov noting the possibility of exporting hydrogen produced in Kazakhstan to the markets of the European Union.

He said that the strategy for hydrogen energy development is expected to be announced in the next two or three months. 

“The global market for green hydrogen will be formed over the next 10 years. During this time, we, as the country, are obliged to give an offer on the future market in the form of products. We cannot wait, we need to act now. The foreign investors do apply,” he said. 

According to the International Energy Agency 2019 report, hydrogen can be produced from fossil fuels and biomass, from water, or from a mix of both. Natural gas now accounts for nearly three-quarters of the annual hydrogen production of around 70 million tonnes.  

Hydrogen can be used in different areas – industry, including oil refining, methanol, and steel production, transportation and buildings. 

“Clean hydrogen is currently enjoying unprecedented political and business momentum, with the number of policies and projects around the world expanding rapidly. Now is the time to scale up technologies and bring down costs to allow hydrogen to become widely used. The pragmatic and actionable recommendations to governments and industry that are provided will make it possible to take full advantage of this increasing momentum,” said the agency.

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