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Israel, Morocco sign energy deal for green hydrogen production at COP27

November 9, 2022 at 3:12 pm

Israeli and Moroccan flags are pictured during an official ceremony in Israel’s Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv, on 13 September, 2022 [JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli company, H2Pro, and Moroccan renewable energy developer, Gaia Energy, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the supply of green hydrogen at the COP27 climate conference in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh yesterday.

Gaia Energy’s Founder and CEO, Moundir Zniber, told The Times of Israel that Morocco had large swathes of territory available for giga-scale energy production powered mainly by wind turbines and solar photovoltaic panels.

“This could be used to produce enough green hydrogen, at the lowest price in the world, to meet 20 per cent of European demand,” he said.

The new agreement would pave the way for integrating H2Pro’s technology and studying the feasibility of producing H2Pro’s electrolysers in Morocco, he added.

According to The Jerusalem Post, Israeli Minister of Regional Cooperation, Esawi Frej, said he was pleased to sign the deal with Morocco because it is a country that works with Israel in the public eye, unlike the Emirates or Jordan, which often do business with Israel, but do so privately.

“Some countries want to be with us like a mistress; they don’t let anyone know about our relationship. It’s not for the public. But with Moroccans, it’s different. They want us. They speak with us. It’s done clearly and on the table. That’s why I put my focus on how to promote our relationship with the Moroccans,” Frej said.

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“I hope that the new government will continue in this way and I believe we’re leaving many good things for them. I will continue my struggle to bring Arabs to Jews together and countries to countries and people to people. It’s very important for me to make Israel part of the Middle East. This is the way we can make peace and reach our dreams,” he added.

The agreement took place in the presence of Rachid Tahiri and Kelthoum Belhaj, senior officials from the Moroccan Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, as well as Tamar Zandberg, the Israeli Minister of Environmental Protection, and Lior Ben Dor, the Director of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Egypt and the Maghreb.

Morocco and Israel resumed diplomatic relations in late 2020 as part of a tripartite agreement in which the US recognised Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara disputed by the Algerian-backed Polisario Front.

The pace of rapprochement between Morocco and Israel has accelerated since the diplomatic normalisation that took place in December 2020 within the framework of the Abraham Accords, which were concluded between Israel and several Arab countries with the support of Washington.