Engineering in Egypt: hydrogen generator presented at UN climate summit

A large, prestigious hydrogen project is underway in Egypt and was presented at the UN climate conference. On behalf of Powerspex, Kees Cupido is on site to control the 5 megawatt hydrogen generator. "Hard work, long days and far from home, but it is fantastic to be able to work on this," he said.

Wageningen Cupido has been in Egypt for two weeks and will stay there for at least another week. The senior safety software engineer from Powerspex location Veenendaal is working on the project that is being realized at an industrial estate on the Red Sea, near the Suez Canal.

What exactly are you working on?

"To the controls of the system that makes hydrogen from water. The hydrogen can be used in many ways, but here it will be used for a fertilizer plant. That normally uses natural gas, but adding hydrogen suddenly creates two big advantages: it can run on green energy from windmills, and the factory is no longer solely dependent on gas prices. Moreover, using natural gas requires three times as much gas as getting hydrogen. That will soon be over. Thanks to the use of hydrogen, the plant will soon be able to operate efficiently and strategically by making choices for gas or hydrogen."

What is your job?

"I program the PLCs and the display screens for the operators."

How important is this project?

"Incredibly important because it is part of the UN Climate Summit. Egypt is hosting the United Nations Climate Conference and this project is one of the projects Egypt is presenting to the world through the conference. All the world leaders are present."

Are you also going to the UN climate conference?

"I would have liked that very much, of course, but it is not possible. If I could have attended the conference at all, all the hotels are fully booked by world leaders, their entourage and an awful lot of media. This summit is bigger than we can all imagine."

You've been in Egypt for almost a month. Are you seeing much of the country?

"Unfortunately no. We work too much for that. Getting to work early in the morning, only returning to the hotel in the evening. There is so much work to do that we don't have time for sightseeing. That goes for me, but also for colleagues. Our hotel is so luxurious that it includes swimming pools, spa and golf courses, but we don't even have time for that. It all doesn't matter. I'm used to being away from home for long periods of time and we have a great team. I love being able to work on this."


The translation of the sign next to Cupid in the photo.