A successful bidder for the much anticipated and country’s first ever green hydrogen project, which has the potential to create up to 30 000 jobs, has been confirmed.
President Hage Geingob yesterday announced Hyphen Hydrogen Energy (Pty) Ltd is the preferred bidder for the green hydrogen project in the //Kharas region. Geingob made the announcement in Glasgow on the sidelines of the UN climate change conference. A total of nine companies submitted bids for the project.
When contacted at their Windhoek office yesterday, Hyphen’s company secretary in Namibia referred this reporter to Marco Raffiniti in South Africa who confirmed the preferred bidder status of the company but said an official communique to react to the announcement will be sent out in due course.
An internet search indicates that Hyphen Hydrogen Energy’s shareholders are Nicholas Holdings Limited, an investment holding company and project developer and Enertrag, which is a German renewable energy company. The company website describes Hyphen Hydrogen Energy as “a project development company established with the objective of developing, constructing and operating Green Hydrogen production facilities in Namibia to supply international and regional markets”.
The project is also aimed at enhancing Namibia’s energy security. In August this year, Geingob invited requests for proposals for the development of green hydrogen and green ammonia projects in the //Kharas region.
Green hydrogen is being touted as one of the key fuel sources for a global future to facilitate a carbon neutral world. Initial estimates are that the green hydrogen project, with potential employment creation for 30 000 people overall, is expected to attract more than US$6 billion (about N$91 billion in foreign direct investment), which is anticipated to generate annual revenues in excess of US$800 million (N$12 billion). The latest estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA), published at the end of 2019, predict that global energy demand will increase by between 25% and 30% by 2040, which in an economy dependent on coal and oil would mean more CO2, thereby exacerbating climate change.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency has advised governments to step up investment in low-carbon hydrogen to unlock its potential and help the world achieve net zero emissions. To achieve this the IEA stated that US$1.2 trillion would be needed globally by 2030 to achieve the world’s green hydrogen objectives. World governments with hydrogen strategies have already committed US$37 billion while the private sector has announced US$300 billion, said the IEA.
Recently, the University of Namibia (Unam) approved the establishment of a Namibia Green Hydrogen Research Institute.
Unam embarked on this initiative to establish a national institute in May 2021 and has since secured a number of local and international partners to drive green hydrogen research in the country, making this the first National Green Hydrogen Research Institute in Namibia.
The institute is anticipated to serve as a national research and capacity building hub under the university with the aim to conduct local research and development and provide innovative solutions as well as upskill and reskill Namibians and develop local businesses across the green hydrogen value chain.