Belgium’s energy infrastructure company Fluxys has strengthened its partnership with Omani state-owned transmission system operator OQ Gas Networks (OQGN) to explore areas of strategic cooperation in the development of Oman’s hydrogen and CO2 infrastructure.
Following an invitation to become an anchor investor in the coming IPO process on the Muscat stock exchange, Fluxys has committed to acquire a 4.9% stake in OQGN. The listing of OQGN shares on the Muscat Stock Exchange is expected to take place in October 2023, subject to receiving the required regulatory approvals.
Furtnermore, Fluxys and OQGN have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on strategic cooperation in the development of Oman’s hydrogen and CO2 infrastructure.
Thanks to its abundant wind and solar resources enabling competitive renewable hydrogen production and strategic location with access to hydrogen import markets via ports located on established sea trading routes, Oman is poised to become one of the world’s leading renewable hydrogen hubs.
With government support, a substantial investment plan is currently implemented with nine hydrogen projects under development.
In September 2021, the Belgian and Omani ministers of energy signed an MoU to promote and develop renewable hydrogen projects together. Belgian players like Port of Antwerp-Bruges and DEME already hold a material presence in the Port of Duqm and the hydrogen space in Oman.
Within the 100% renewable hydrogen strategy, OQGN is expected to play a critical role in developing the country’s renewable hydrogen (and CO2) networks. Therefore, this acquisition fits perfectly with Fluxys’ strategy to connect and invest in new low-carbon energy value chains by developing hydrogen (and CO2) routes towards Belgium and Europe, the company explained.
Talal Al Awfi, CEO of OQ Group and Chairman of OQGN, said: “Fluxys’ decision to be an anchor investor in OQGN’s IPO demonstrates the strength of OQGN’s investment case and growth potential in Oman and beyond. This investment creates a natural partnership between our businesses as we both seek to support the global energy transition and Oman’s Vision 2040.”
Pascal De Buck, CEO of Fluxys, added: “This investment aligns perfectly with our strategy to develop low carbon energy value chains through partnerships. As Oman will become a leading export hub for renewable hydrogen, it’s a unique opportunity for Fluxys to play a key role in accelerating the energy transition and bringing renewable hydrogen to Belgium and Europe.”