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Namibia, South Africa in Green Hydrogen partnership talks

Namibia and South Africa are exploring the possibility of a partnership in the development of green hydrogen initiatives, including the joint development of a Green Hydrogen corridor.

The Head of Investment and Infrastructure Office at The Presidency in South Africa, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, recently met with Namibia’s Green Hydrogen Commissioner James Mnyupe in Windhoek to discuss the potential for green hydrogen to diversify their economies, create jobs, and address energy emergencies.

"We are looking at establishing a Green Hydrogen corridor between the two countries including green mobility. The two countries are foremost leaders in the Green Hydrogen space given our mineral and renewable energy endowments," said Dr Ramokgopa.

The talks come after South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa proposed a possible hydrogen partnership with Namibia in October 2020, as the neighbouring country targets plans to become a major exporter of green hydrogen, through the implementation of the Boegoebaai hydrogen power project.

South Africa last year unveiled a N$300-billion ($20 billion) investment pipeline under a Green Hydrogen National Programme, which has been designated as a Strategic Integrated Project (SIP) for accelerated development under the country’s Infrastructure Development Act.

The country has the potential to produce up to 13 million tonnes of green hydrogen and derivatives a year by 2050, but to do so would require between 140GW and 300GW of renewable energy, which would represent a massive scale up in a context where South Africa had procured only about 7GW of wind and solar since 2011.

Among some of the envisioned projects is the development of a 2,500-km cross-border pipeline from Luderitz all the way to Saldanha , a project which Mnyupe estimates will cost N$352.6 billion (€20 billion).

"It was a real pleasure to meet our good friend Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa from SA to continue discussions about regional energy security anchored by the potential of Green Hydrogen and Synthetic Fuels. Namibia and South Africa are deepening collaboration in this area - watch the space!" Mnyupe said.

Namibia, according to its Green Hydrogen Strategy, is targeting to create a green fuels industry with a production capacity of 10-12 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of hydrogen equivalent (H2) by 2050.

A new report released by global research firm McKinsey, however, indicated that the Africa Green Hydrogen Alliance (AGHA) member countries – Egypt, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, and South Africa – need to invest between N$7.7 trillion-N$15 trillion (US$450 billion to US$900 billion) in cumulative investment by 2050 to realise the grouping nations’ green hydrogen potential.

The partnership between Namibia and South Africa is a significant step in the development of green hydrogen in Africa, as the two countries have the potential to become major players in the industry. With investment and collaboration, the green hydrogen industry in Africa has the potential to bring about economic growth and address energy emergencies.

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Last modified on Thursday, 26 January 2023 20:21

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