Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Omani Renewable Energy and Clean Hydrogen Law

In a first of its kind, Oman has recently issued a royal decree (RD 10/2023: Allocating Some Lands for the Purposes of Renewable Energy and Clean Hydrogen Projects) in response to the fast-growing hydrogen power sector and the nation’s desire to become a global hydrogen export powerhouse. 

The Royal Decree follows from the establishment of the state-backed hydrogen energy company in early 2022, Hydrogen Oman Company (Hydrom), and the directives from His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, which called for effective institutional and regulatory foundations to be laid to support the growth of a future green hydrogen economy in Oman. Oman is targeting the production of around 1 million tonnes per annum of green hydrogen by 2030. 

The Decree comes less than two months before Hydrom is set to award the first two land blocks at the end of the maiden round of a competitive auction process over land allocations for mega green energy projects. Final offers for a pair of land blocks currently being auctioned by Hydrom are due middle of March 2023, with an award likely by end of April 2023. The successful bidders in the auction process will secure a block each of 320 sq km in Duqm to develop all phases of their green hydrogen projects. 

The Decree with its eight articles identifies those lands, by way of masterplan attached to the Decree, that will be allocated for the purposes of renewable energy and clean hydrogen projects. The Decree also sets out the responsibilities and duties of Hydrom in the allocation and division of the lands, which include the grant of usufruct of the lands to Hydrom (Article III) and the responsibility and duty of Hydrom to contract with others to use the divided lands for the purposes of renewable energy and clean hydrogen projects by way of an auction (Article IV). 

Such provisions are in confirmation and governance of the auction process that is currently underway. Supporting guidelines to the Decree in the form of Executive Regulations from the Ministry of Energy and Minerals are expected to follow. 

With a leading and well-renowned Green Hydrogen legal team, both nationally and internationally, Curtis is well placed to provide any required legal support in the fast-paced and ever-evolving green hydrogen economy sector. 

Curtis offers free seminars to interested clients on all aspects of the industry, and can tailor a seminar based on individual requirements. Please contact Curtis if this should be of interest.