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Hydrogen project faces equipment delays

2022-10-26  Maihapa Ndjavera

Hydrogen project faces equipment delays

The Ohlthaver & List Group and their joint venture partner CMB.TECH, known as Cleanergy Solutions Namibia, who are responsible for a green hydrogen production plant to be built in the Erongo region, are challenged with long equipment lead times.

“Lead times for equipment (e.g. electrolysers) are extremely long, mainly due to supply chain constraints as a result of global factors like the Russia-Ukraine war,” explained O&L group director of innovations Eike Krafft. 

Responding to questions from New Era, Krafft said they also experience upward price pressure on many items due to escalating global inflation.

Construction on the demonstration plant, specifically as a hub for hydrogen applications, commenced this year with the aim to be operational by the end of 2023. The plant was launched in February this year and construction is expected to cost approximately US$18 million.

However, Krafft stated the company is proceeding with its preparations for the pilot plant. The main focal points include proceeding with the permitting and the environmental impact assessment process, ordering the long lead-time items and finalising the local design and plant layout.

According to Krafft, the project is an enabler to kick-start local economic activity. The O&L director added the long lead times are not only related to their own plant and construction activities, but also relates to projects in the port and rail sectors and with the service industry. 

Meanwhile, the hydrogen they intend to produce will enable decarbonising projects in several industries. In addition, Krafft noted the project includes a training centre and upskilling initiatives.

Depending on the results of the demonstration plant, a larger scale production plant will follow during the second phase of the project, possibly using ammonia as transport fuel.

CMB.TECH, based in Belgium, builds, owns, operates and designs large marine and industrial applications that run on hydrogen and ammonia. It also offers hydrogen and ammonia fuel to customers, either through own production or by sourcing it from third-party producers.

Earlier this year, James Mnyupe, 
economic advisor to President Hage Geingob, said the country has all the potential to be at the forefront of green hydrogen development that will significantly benefit the nation.

“The project is the real opportunity to change the face of the economy that has been struggling for years. Green hydrogen is an opportunity for the country to fight the high costs and to have energy security,” said Mnyupe. He added the demonstration plant’s construction will employ a substantial number of people, thereby helping to alleviate the high unemployment rate. 


2022-10-26  Maihapa Ndjavera

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