The story begins in 1987 when hydrogen was discovered in a water borehole in the Bourakebougou village 70 km from Bamako in Mali. A local lit a cigarette above the well, which triggered a fire that left locals perplexed. The well was hence closed and disgarded.
In the early 2000, unaware of this previous incident, yet eager to explore the oil and gas potential of the region Hydromaacquired the Bloc 25, an area as large as Switzerland near Bamako. Founded by entrepreneur and Mali-born Aliou Diallo, and committed to high ethical standards and transparency, Hydroma was headquartered in Canada, a country that not only falls under OECD legislation, but is also home to a large, developed mining and oil and gas industry with internationally recognized standards.
Hydroma found out about the incident and initiated a series of test with international and Canadian experts to better understand the potential. Over the years, the company carried out variousresearch including passive seismic, airborne magnetic, gravimetric measurements and some drilling campaigns, thus discovering the first major natural hydrogen reservein the world.
In 2012, the company was the first in the world to successfully produce electricity from natural hydrogen to power the village of Bourakébougou. Where once the village relied primarily on lamps and firelight for lighting after dark, life in the newly electrified Bourakébougou was significantly improved.
Hydroma has since become recognized internationally as a leading expert in natural hydrogen exploration and exploitation. Currently the company runs hydrogen extraction operations in Mali, but believes that there are many more untapped wells in Australia and Canada. Hydroma is also positioning itself to become the largest green hydrogen producer in West Africa.
Green hydrogen is produced from renewable energy sources, usually solar, wind or hydro power. West Africa is anideal place for green hydrogen production, noting high sun exposure and wind potential as well as proximity to European markets, leading to competitive advantage and durable economic development perspectives for the region.
While green hydrogen in itself is a carbon-free fuel that has gained a lot of interest, it still requires a large amount of electricity to be produced. Natural hydrogen on the other hand, does not. Hydroma has now proved that this clean energy could be harnessed straight from the source, and that Mali may be sitting on enough to power the entire country, and massively export internationally. Always guided by science, Hydroma’s achievements have been widely noted, and in particular by the renowned French geologist Alain Prinzhofer.
Hydroma believes both green and natural hydrogen are complementary part of the solution to climate change and sustainable development in the world. In 2020, the company launched the “W.A.B.G.D.”–or, West African Big Green Deal–making green and natural hydrogen a rising star in the West African economy.
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