The Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) has announced the signing of two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU), one with Changwon City and one with the Korea Transport Institute (KOTI), which aim to promote the research and development of hydrogen energy and sustainable development strategies, strengthen cooperation in the field of low-carbon hydrogen public transportation, and facilitate the sharing of information and resources.
The two MoUs were signed on the sidelines of the UAE – South Korea Business forum held in Abu Dhabi on 16 January. Representing Abu Dhabi Government, the MoU with Changwon City was signed by His Excellency Falah Al Ahbabi, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of DMT, and Hong Nam-pyo, Mayor of Changwon City, Na Seung-sil, President of Korea Automotive Technology Institute, and Kwon Whan-ju, CEO of Kwangshin Machinery Company while the MoU with KOTI was signed between His Excellency Al Ahbabi and Jaehak Oh, President of KOTI.
The MoUs are part of Abu Dhabi’s ambitious plans to strengthen its leading position in clean and sustainable energy. It is also in line with DMT and the Integrated Transport Centre's efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and improve the quality of life in the emirate of Abu Dhabi by establishing an environmentally friendly transportation system and sustainable infrastructure.
With the MoU, Abu Dhabi and Changwon City aim to enhance bilateral exchanges by organising workshops, seminars, pilot projects, and meetings that share experiences and ideas. As part of the MoU, both parties will design action plans for collaboration, establish hydrogen charging infrastructure, operate hydrogen buses, and facilitate visits and professional exchanges. Furthermore, the two cities will cooperate on the design and specification of hydrogen plants, hydrogen refuelling stations, and hydrogen buses, as well as their operation and maintenance in Abu Dhabi.
The MoU with KOTI aims to collaborate on research and development of integrated development strategies and policies, sharing information and expertise on Korean regulations for establishing hydrogen charging stations, and conducting joint workshops and training courses for mutual benefit. The MoU also includes an Expert Exchange Programme for sharing human resources and other materials such as publications and research facilities.
His Excellency Al Ahbabi said: “As part of its mission, the department strives to promote flexible, smart, low-carbon mobility and provide environmentally friendly transportation choices. By signing these strategic MoUs, we aim to strengthen cooperation frameworks with the Republic of Korea in a way that contributes to enabling joint public transportation solutions as part of Abu Dhabi's climate neutrality strategy and enhances the emirate's pioneering position in the field of green hydrogen and clean energy.
"Based on the directives of our leadership, we will continue to build partnerships with international partners regarding renewable energy, infrastructure, and transportation. As part of the energy transition and advanced technologies that curb climate change and drive sustainable growth in Abu Dhabi, we will also capitalise on the economic opportunities."
Mayor Nam-pyo said: "Changwon City formed Team Changwon with Korea's competent institution and company to cooperate with Abu Dhabi DMT for Abu Dhabi's hydrogen mobility policy, which aims to transform Abu Dhabi into a hydrogen city. Changwon City is the only local government that participated in the UAE-Korea Business Forum during the Korean President's state visit to the UAE. Through this MOU, Changwon City will collaborate with Abu Dhabi DMT to grow together as one of the world's best hydrogen cities, not just in the Middle East. Changwon City will actively support and cooperate with Abu Dhabi on behalf of the Republic of Korea."
Dr. Jaehak Oh said: “Korea Transport Institute, a leading and representative research institution of Republic of Korea with the objective to contribute to the advancement of national transport, has been establishing cooperative relationship with DMT to cooperate in the area of transport, especially eco-friendly public transport system and mobility using hydrogen energy.
“I believe that through signing MoU today, the two parties have prepared a solid foundation to make a greater step for achieving their goals successfully in the near future. Taking this opportunity, I deeply appreciate DMT.”
The signing of the two Memorandums of Understanding aligns with Abu Dhabi's efforts to support the country's preparations for hosting the 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 28) later this year by driving climate action to reduce carbon emissions.
Through the collaborations, Abu Dhabi will be able to offer an enhanced integrated and environmentally friendly transportation network that facilitates movement with ease and comfort, thereby supporting business growth. The signing also falls within the framework of achieving the DMT’s strategic priorities in developing smart cities, utilising knowledge and experience to enhance social, economic and urban development through a flexible and sustainable infrastructure.