Germany has taken formal delivery of its first batch of hydrogen-based ammonia from the UAE, the green fuel it hopes will help replace coal and gas used by energy-intensive industries.
The delivery, which arrived in Hamburg on Friday, was modest — a single container of 13 tonnes of ammonia.
But it was symbolic of the deal’s potential for both countries.
A joint ceremony at the northern German port city of Hamburg was attended by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, UAE special envoy for climate change, group chief executive of Adnoc and chairman of Masdar, and Robert Habeck, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and Vice Chancellor.
Also attending was Roland Harings, chief executive of German metals manufacturer Aurubis. His company is testing the fuel in the manufacture of copper wire.
Germany is scrambling to substitute natural gas imports from Russia, while also staying on track for its ambitious goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
One alternative is energy-rich hydrogen gas, provided it is made with the help of renewable energy. Since hydrogen is difficult to transport it is sometimes stored as liquid ammonia.
The UAE and Germany signed a landmark agreement in September aimed at accelerating joint efforts to boost energy security, decarbonisation and combat climate change.
Under the partnership, Adnoc will supply German energy company RWE AG with liquefied natural gas.
Adnoc has reserved a number of other LNG cargoes for German companies in 2023.
It has also entered into agreements with German companies for demonstration cargoes of low-carbon ammonia.
The Emirates and other countries across the Middle East and North Africa region are pursuing plans to incorporate hydrogen into their energy mix and tap into the clean fuel for different industrial applications.
The UAE and Germany expect to work together on further opportunities to boost growth in the growing hydrogen sector, officials said.
Other joint initiatives will involve leading UAE renewable energy firm Masdar exploring opportunities in the offshore wind market in German areas of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.
This will be with the aim of generating up to 10 gigawatts of renewable energy production capacity by 2030, said officials.