RIYADH: South Korean President Moon Jae-in held talks with Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday and agreed to work together in areas related to the hydrogen economy at the Al-Yamamah palace in Riyadh, the two nations signed preliminary deals to jointly develop green hydrogen, which is produced from renewable energy sources, especially solar and wind, and jointly build a hydrogen ecosystem.Under the deals, South Korea can secure a supply of carbon-neutral hydrogen and ammonia from Saudi Arabia. In return, Seoul can help Riyadh operate hydrogen-powered cars and hydrogen fueling stations, according to the statement.
Saudi Arabia is South Korea’s largest trading partner in the Middle East. The kingdom is also the biggest supplier of crude oil to South Korea. Prince Mohammed bin Salman voiced support for Moon’s efforts to bring peace on the Korean Peninsula, according to the statement.
“Saudi Arabia, which has the potential to produce clean hydrogen such as green and blue hydrogen, and South Korea, which has strengths in hydrogen utilization based on hydrogen-powered cars and fuel cell technology, must closely cooperate to lead the global hydrogen economy,” Moon told the forum. Moon urged Saudi Arabian business leaders to expand business cooperation with South Korea into sectors related to public health and digital technology as a way to cope with a post-pandemic era.
Moon also met with Yasir al-Rumayyan, chairman of Aramco, the kingdom’s state oil giant. The Aramco chairman also heads Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund. Moon told the Aramco chairman that cooperating with South Korea’s hydrogen-related companies would present investment opportunities for Saudi Arabia.