Highlights in 2019
Update on clean energy innovation policies and strategies
The National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP) was launched in January 2019 as a part of the 2030 Vision. The program is mandated to transform the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia into a leading industrial powerhouse and a global logistics hub in promising growth. The program has a research, development, and innovation (R&DI) section that includes oil and gas R&DI including carbon capture, utilization, and storage.
Major innovation initiatives and programmes in 2019/20
- Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is developing a process to utilize CO2 to produce acrylic acid by catalytic coupling of CO2 and ethylene. The main advantages of this process are (i) the CO2 represents ~60% of the final product mass and (ii) it will lead to the avoidance of the feedstock loss, by over-oxidation, in the current commercial technology to produce acrylic acid via propylene oxidation.
- SABIC is developing a technology to produce hydrogen from water splitting. Solar H2 production from water could be the key to a sustainable energy economy with wide environmental, economic and social impacts. H2 is commercially made mainly from natural gas or coal reforming, where 8kg of CO2 is produced for every 1 kg of hydrogen made.
Major activities in support of the Innovation Challenges in 2019/20
Saudi Arabia is working with the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Norway to identify innovation opportunities in higher technology readiness levels that are of particular interest to industry partners. A workshop took place in June 2019 bringing together CO2 capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) experts from academia and industry partners in the oil and gas, power, and energy intensives industries to build and complement the IC3 CCUS report with technological challenges that have the potential to accelerated CCUS deployment. A summary report was released in October 2019, looking at six CCUS technology areas including decarbonising industry and the role of CCS in enabling low carbon hydrogen.
Other Mission Innovation related activity in 2019/20
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosted MI member representatives met in Riyadh in February 2020. As the initiative enters its fifth year, this was a pivotal moment to look back on impact and progress to date, to discuss future trends and challenges in the global innovation landscape and to explore options for the future of MI.
Saudi Arabia hosted the Fifth Mission Innovation Ministerial meeting in September 2020.