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Saudi oil giant Aramco and thermal energy storage firm Rondo in GW-scale deployment MOU


Saudi Arabian oil firm Aramco has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Rondo Energy, a thermal energy storage company, following an equity investment.

The two companies have started engineering studies for an ‘industrial scale’ deployment of Rondo’s Heat Battery technology to reduce emissions at Aramco facilities, with a ‘subsequent scale up to 1GWh’. Rondo Energy said.

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Rondo’s Heat Battery is a refractory brick that can be heated to 1500°C, or 2732°F, and retains the heat to then be used either in heat form or for conversion back to electricity.

Aramco is the world’s largest oil producer, with oil and gas fields and refineries in and around Saudi Arabia and facilities elsewhere.

Aramco and Rondo also intend to assess potential deployments of the technology at the oil firm’s facilities worldwide, including for use cases around hydrogen production and carbon capture, the announcement said.

It follows Aramco, which is 90% owned by the Saudi Arabia government, taking part in a US$60 million investment round into Rondo Energy in August last year.

Industrial emissions are a massive portion of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as much as 36% according to Rondo at the time of its fundraising. Much of the emissions come from huge demands for industrial heat.

“Aramco has stated its ambitions to achieve Net Zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 across its wholly owned and operated assets, and sees opportunities to build substantial lower-carbon new energy business,” said Ali Al-Meshari, Aramco senior VP of technology, oversight & coordination.

The first large-scale project, 2MWh, using Rondo’s technology came online in California in March 2023.

Aramco has also invested in other novel energy storage companies including long-duration energy storage (LDES) carbon-oxygen battery firm Noon Energy in January 2023 and Energy Vault, the company known for its gravity energy storage technology, in June 2021.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 2nd Energy Storage Summit Asia, 9-10 July 2024 in Singapore. The event will help give clarity on this nascent, yet quickly growing market, bringing together a community of credible independent generators, policymakers, banks, funds, off-takers and technology providers. For more information, go to the website.

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