THP-E244: Interesting Strategic Hydrogen Partnership Just Announced In Italy, And Hyundai Stomps On The BioGas

Paul Rodden • Season: 2023 • Episode: 244

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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 244, ACWA Power joins forces in Italy and Hyundai it looks for gold with renewable natural gas. I’ll go over all of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

Thank you for listening and I hope you enjoy the podcast. Please feel free to email me at with any questions. Also, if you wouldn’t mind subscribing to my podcast using your preferred platform… I would greatly appreciate it.

Paul Rodden



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ACWA Power joins forces in Italy and Hyundai it looks for gold with renewable natural gas. I’ll go over all of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where’s capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters recognize the importance of hydrogen. I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions that will unlock the potential of hydrogen. And this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden, and welcome to the Hydrogen Podcast.

Before I get things kicked off today, I want to let you all know about a very important announcement coming next Monday. It’s something that I’m extremely proud of and passionate about, and I believe will have a real impact on the global hydrogen industry. So stay tuned for Monday’s podcast. And now on to the show. In a press release on September 4 ACWA power signed strategic cooperation agreements with six Italian partners in green hydrogen, water desalination and r&d. The six Italian entities include the small, medium and large enterprises federation Confindustria, major energy firm Eni, utility and waste management firm A2A, industrial solutions provider Industrie De Nora, specialty additives manufacturer Italmatch Chemicals and classification and engineering solutions provider RINA.

In a quote from Marco Arcelli, Chief Executive Officer of ACWA Power, we look forward to bring together Saudi Arabia home of one of the largest decarbonisation programs in the world. With a rapidly expanding and diversifying economy and Italy, one of the most competitive engineering, manufacturing and technology suppliers globally. The collaboration between ACWA power and our Italian counterparties will enable the exchange of crucial expertise, products and equipment. He also says we hope this cooperation can lead to greater localization of Italian companies in Saudi Arabia, and establish the foundation for a powerful partnership in research and development. We have the ambition to make ACWA power a vehicle to create transformative opportunities for Italian and European enterprises in Saudi Arabia and to drive sustainable progress in Italy in Europe by supplying green hydrogen and technical expertise.

Through its collective network of 222 associations and more than 150,000 companies, Confindustria and its associates will assess with ACWA power, the potential for developments of green hydrogen and water desalination projects, including the identification of suitable contractors and suppliers, research and development and long term supply and manufacturing partnerships. ENI and ACWA power will investigate cooperation in green hydrogen, renewables and research and development in innovative and sustainable technologies. ATA and ACWA power will assess the potential for green hydrogen projects in their areas of mutual interest and green hydrogen imports in Italy. RINA and ACWA power will investigate potential use of green hydrogen and its derivatives and seaborne shipping Industrie De Nora it will provide its expertise in electrochemistry and sustainability technologies to enhance ACWA powers portfolio of water desalination projects and will investigate possible cooperation and operations and maintenance in green hydrogen applications.

Italmatch Chemicals and ACWA Power will explore the potential for localization in Saudi Arabia of the production of water treatment products with long term supply agreements to its operations, as well as opportunities in R&D and knowledge exchange. The Saudi-Italian Investment Forum is jointly hosted by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment (MISA), Italy’s Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy. With over 90 years of diplomatic relations, bilateral trade between the two nations currently stands at around US$11 billion.

Okay, so a big collaboration announcement between Italy and Saudi Arabia. Now the Saudis have been talking large scale electrolytic hydrogen development for some time now with vague discussions of off takers. This development with Italy helps solidify their hydrogen investment and makes for long term supply and demand development. And it will be needed as Saudi Arabia and ACWApower are looking to become the largest electrolytic hydrogen producer in the world. And so, if Italy wants to keep up with Germany’s aggressive hydrogen push, they need to find a supply large enough for their ambitions. This deal could be a very large component of that supply. Now with deals at this scale, I would be surprised to see any notable progress before 2030 As there is still a huge amount of development left to be done.

Next in an article in The Korea Times, Kim Hyun-bin writes Hyundai Motor, Landfill Site Management Corp. collaborate on biogas production. Hyundai Motor Group HMG is moving towards clean hydrogen production by using biogas generated from food waste treatment processes. Biogas is a gas mixture consisting of methane and carbon dioxide produced by the decomposition of organic matter in an oxygen deprived environment. And a quote from Hong Seung-hyun head of Materials Research & Engineering Center at Hyundai Motor Group said we plan to advance as global carbon neutrality leader by developing high value added technologies such as renewable synthetic fuels and environmentally friendly plastic internal materials.

Among the attendees at the ceremony were Vice President Hong Seung-hyun, Park Koo-yong, Hyundai Engineering & Construction and Head of Technology Research Center, and Youm Kyung-seop at Landfill Site Management Corp. The agreement aims to establish a system capable of producing 216 kilograms of environmentally friendly hydrogen daily using biogas produced from the corporation over the next two years. This amount of hydrogen is sufficient to charge more than 34 Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cell electric NEXO vehicles. Biogas, primarily composed of methane, is generated through the fermentation of food waste. Following purification and reforming processes, it becomes possible to produce high-purity clean hydrogen. The recent attention to circular hydrogen production technology is due to its ability to produce environmentally friendly energy sources using waste materials.

Under this agreement, Hyundai Motor and Kia will establish an integrated system for catalytic reaction processes, Hyundai Engineering & Construction will develop gas selection and separation technology for hydrogen production, and Landfill Site Management Corp. will research biogas preprocessing technology and provide research sites and facilities related to biogas, a raw material for hydrogen production. Furthermore, Hyundai Motor Group aims to enhance its capacity for environmentally friendly hydrogen production and also plans to research the production of synthetic e-fuels. The idea is to apply the additional renewable synthetic fuels obtained during hydrogen production to conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. Okay, so this announcement on the surface may not seem that earth shattering due to the volume of the hydrogen that’s being announced only 216 kilograms a day. And so producing only enough hydrogen to refill 34 nexos a day could seem rather paltry. But there are two important details hiding in this announcement.

And the first is this, I’ve spoken with Matt Murdock, the CEO of Raven SR enough to know that producing hydrogen from landfill waste gas is going to be one of the best sources of hydrogen that we can find. Because remember, this waste gas is also referred to as renewable natural gas and is considered by many to be a much cleaner source of methane than traditional natural gas. Now, you may or may not believe that but either way, it is a readily available source and one that isn’t being utilized as well as it should be. And that applies globally. Landfills are everywhere, all of them generating methane as the organic compounds decompose.

So what this announcement is showcasing is the scalable possibilities of leveraging these rng sources for hydrogen. The second piece to note is the work Hyundai is doing on developing synthetic fuels from this source. I’ve talked a good bit about the syn fuel market and its place as a derivative product of the hydrogen economy. syn fuels can be generated anytime you have hydrogen and carbon dioxide, they burn cleaner and are more energy dense than traditional fuels, and are one of the most elegant introductions to the energy transition around. So I say don’t dismiss small announcements like these, because buried behind them are gold nuggets of information that are going to be extremely impactful to the future of hydrogen.

Alright, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have a second, I would really appreciate it. If you could leave a good review on whatever platform it is that you listen to Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google, YouTube, whatever it is, that would be a tremendous help to the show. And as always, if you ever have any feedback, you’re welcome to email me directly at So until next time, keep your eyes up and honor one another.

Hey, this is Paul. I hope you liked this podcast. If you did and want to hear more. I’d appreciate it if you would subscribe to this channel on YouTube or connect with your favorite platform through my website at Thanks for listening. I very much appreciate it. Have a great day