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Hyphen to build houses at harbour town

2023-06-02  Edgar Brandt

Hyphen to build houses at harbour town

The developer of a massive green hydrogen project, Hyphen Hydrogen Energy, will provide for the housing needs for employees involved in the much-hyped project. 

The project, the harbour town of Lüderitz hopes, will bring much-needed development.

Hyphen said the government will not at all be involved in ensuring construction workers or employees of the hydrogen plant are accommodated, contrary to claims made by some naysayers of the massive project. 

This stance was confirmed this week by Hyphen’s head of environment, social and governance, Toni Beukes, who explained that any project of this scale would need to provide housing for contractors and all employees, for the construction and operational phases. 

As such Hyphen will directly facilitate the housing provision for the estimated 3 000 operational phase employees as well as those involved in the construction phase.  

The green hydrogen project has a four-year construction period and an operational period of more than 40 years. The company estimates at least 15 000 people will be employed during the construction phase and about 3 000 for the operational phase. These are targeted estimated numbers that will be confirmed during the feasibility period. 

“In the Namibian context we have seen many mining houses following the same model of providing accommodation as was the case in mining towns like Oranjemund or Arandis,” said Beukes during an interview with New Era. 



She noted that Hyphen has also engaged the Lüderitz Town Council in preparation for the massive project that is poised to have a significant impact on the harbour town, the //Kharas region and the country at large. 

Said Beukes: “We are aware there is a 6 000-housing backlog in Lüderitz that needs to be provided by the town council. Obviously, this is an historic backlog. We have addressed this and we are sensitive to this issue. Together with the government we will work on how to accommodate our staff without negatively impacting on the towns development plans in addressing the housing backlog”. 

Beukes further noted that Hyphen’s fiscal contributions include land rentals, royalties and taxes and emphasised that Hyphen’s socio-economic framework also encompasses an employment and skills development component and local procurement, which extends to enterprise and supplier development capacity building. 

“This was done so we can build capacity, design programmes, together with government and our technical partners, on how to accelerate local business participation not only for the construction phase, which was the original call from government, but also for the operational phase. 

We then further expanded this to include your typical Corporate Social Investment element as well. To underpin all of that and to bring some rigour to how we will do this we have included a reporting, monitoring and evaluation component as well,” she said. 


Beukes added that to underpin all of that and to bring some rigour to how this will be done, they had included a reporting, monitoring and evaluation component as well. 


Meanwhile, responding to a query from New Era, Lüderitz Town Council spokesperson, Elwin !Gaoseb, said Hyphen’s green hydrogen project will culminate in industrial scale infrastructure investment within the town that will result in employment creation, poverty alleviation and a thriving commercial sector offering various service and product solutions. 


“The town of Lüderitz will further be recipients of an enlarged port, that will enable larger vessels to dock at the port of Lüderitz with further spin-offs such as our town becoming an import and export destination of choice for logistics. 


This development will further position the town of Lüderitz to become a net exporter of electricity to the world, whilst becoming a town that will greatly contribute to the gross domestic product of Namibia. The tourism profile of the town will be enhanced to attract a global following inclusive of domestic tourists, that will benefit the hospitality industry and in so doing sustain employment,” said !Gaoseb. 


He added that the establishment of tertiary education institutions to cater for the various trade skill sets required for the development will be a further welcomed boost to the town’s profile.


Earlier this week, during a ministerial workshop, mines and energy minister, Tom Alweendo, noted that another exciting development in the energy sector is that of an ambitious programme to develop a synthetic fuel industry using the country’s renewable resources. 


“Here I am referring to our GH2 strategy. Our world-class solar and wind resources, and vast open spaces make Namibia the ideal destination for future green hydrogen development. These conditions give reason for Namibia to be able to produce green hydrogen at highly competitive costs. We are looking to produce more than just green hydrogen, as we aim to export green ammonia, e-methanol, and synthetic kerosene,” said Alweendo. 


He added that the final ambition is to also manufacture more complex products, such as green zinc and steel. 


“Key to our GH2 strategy is the creation and utilisation of molecules for local industrialisation objectives and for decarbonisation of industrial sectors,” Alweendo added. 




2023-06-02  Edgar Brandt

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