Tunisia is capable of exporting between 5.5 and 6 million tons of green hydrogen to Europe by 2050, said Belhassen Chiboub, director general of electricity and energy transition at the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy.
Quoting figures from the “European Hydrogen Backbone” initiative, a project for a European network for transporting hydrogen by pipeline, the official said that this quantity would represent Tunisia’s share of Europe’s planned imports, mainly from Tunisia, Algeria and Libya (11 million tons of green hydrogen).
In his opinion, Tunisia has all the necessary assets to produce green hydrogen at competitive costs in the short and medium term and to position itself as a supplier to Europe.
Indeed, the country has “excellent” and “complementary” renewable resources, including solar and wind power, and is located close to a center of demand – Europe.
To facilitate the export of this product to Europe, the Tunisian government is planning to set up a network to transport green hydrogen from Gabès and Tataouine to Cap-Bon, explained Chiboub.
However, the cost of developing this technology means that Tunisia will have to invest a lot of capital. The production of one million tons of green hydrogen requires a total investment of around $25 billion. “Consequently, Tunisia alone cannot bear these costs,” he stressed.
On the issue of water scarcity in Tunisia, a key resource for hydrogen production, the official pointed out that the state is counting on the creation of several desalination plants in the southern and central regions of the country, including the governorates of Mahdia and Gabès.
“Today, we are trying to build plants with a production capacity of 200,000 m3 of water per day to meet the national demand for drinking water. A plant with a capacity of 200 m3/day can produce 8 million tons of hydrogen per year,” he added.