Saudi oil giant Aramco has announced the signing of five agreements with leading French companies, including a deal to explore a hydrogen-powered vehicle business with Gaussin.
The agreement between Aramco and Gaussin, a pioneer in clean and intelligent transport solutions, aims to establish a modern manufacturing facility for on-road and off-road hydrogen-powered vehicles in Saudi Arabia.
As a first step, Gaussin and Aramco will study the feasibility of a manufacturing facility and a hydrogen distribution business to serve the Middle East region.
The two companies also agreed that Aramco’s Advanced Innovation Centre (LAB7) will be closely involved in Gaussin’s development of hydrogen-powered vehicles and the development of a remote controlled/autonomous hydrogen racing truck. LAB7 aims to integrate Aramco’s composite materials into Gaussin’s existing range of products to reduce the weight, energy consumption and cost of these vehicles.
Aramco will also be sponsoring the world’s first hydrogen-fuelled racing truck, which has been developed by Gaussin and which will compete in the 2022 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. Aramco’s sponsorship of Gaussin’s participation in the Dakar Rally continues to promote low-emission transportation technology developments.
Signing of the agreements took place during an event in Jeddah, organised by the Ministry of Investment to explore investment opportunities for French companies in Saudi Arabia. The event was attended by Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia and Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness of France, along with Aramco President and CEO, Amin H Nasser.
Nasser said: “This partnership is a continuation of Aramco’s long-standing relationship with a number of leading French companies. It represents an opportunity to promote hydrogen as a low-carbon solution, not just for motorsport, but eventually for mass transportation as well. Such collaboration helps us to advance economic growth in the kingdom as part of the Namaat industrial investment program and takes us a step closer to our shared vision of a more sustainable future.”
Other agreements announced seek to further Aramco’s research and development in the areas of carbon capture technology, artificial intelligence and local manufacturing. The MoUs include:
Air Liquide: Non-binding MoU to evaluate low Carbon hydrogen and ammonia production, logistics, and backcracking technology and an additional non-binding MoU to evaluate Carbon Capture & Sequestration (CCS) opportunities.
Alteia: Non-binding MoU to develop advanced artificial intelligence driven geospatial imagery interpretation and processing capabilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Axens: Non-binding MoU to explore the local manufacturing and maintenance services of furnaces and fired heaters.-- TradeArabia News Service