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Hyphen progresses on US$10bn Namibian project

2022-08-31  Staff Reporter

Hyphen progresses on US$10bn Namibian project

Hyphen Hydrogen Energy is making positive progress on its discussions with the Namibian government as it moves towards signature of the Implementation Agreement before the end of the year for its planned US$10 billion Namibian green hydrogen project. 

Material progress has been made since Hyphen’s last announcement at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in May this year
 when it laid out an ambitious timeline to realise this transformative project. 

During the Cabinet meeting on 12 June 2022, the composition and appointment of the government negotiations team was endorsed to finalise the implementation agreement as well as the proposed timeline of its signature. The signing of the implementation agreement will trigger the commencement of the front-end engineering and design phase in the development of this ambitious green hydrogen project. 

Meanwhile, Hyphen has onboarded Boston Consulting Group and Lazard as its international strategic and financial advisors, respectively, complementing its existing legal advisory team comprising Slaughter and May as well as ENS Africa. Hyphen and its broader advisory team are working closely with the Namibian government and its advisors to ensure Namibia’s potential as one of the top three locations in the world for green hydrogen production is realised. 

Hyphen is rapidly building its team in Namibia as it looks towards the next phase in the development of the project, with the appointment of five Namibian nationals, including Toni Beukes, the new environment, sustainability and governance leader, who
will ensure this is an equitable project that benefits the people of Namibia. 

Hyphen has leased space in Nedbank’s newly completed flagship courtside office development in the centre of Windhoek, to house its growing team with occupation set for early October on completion of the office fit-out. 

At full scale development, the Hyphen project is expected to produce approximately 350 000 tons of green hydrogen per annum before the end of the decade for regional and global markets from 5-6GW of renewable generation capacity and some 3GW of electrolyser capacity. 

Hyphen and government are targeting the commencement of construction in January 2025, with the commissioning of the first phase by the end of 2026. The total investment over both phases is about US$10 billion, roughly the equivalent of Namibia’s annual GDP. 

Hyphen’s sister company, Hyphen Technical, together with partners TransNamib, CMB.TECH and the University of Namibia has recently been officially selected to develop a hydrogen powered locomotive with two hydrogen-diesel dual fuel locomotive prototypes with a hydrogen fuel tender wagon. The H2 locomotive conversion project, at a cost of €7.63 million, is being part funded by grant funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), through the Namibian Government, supported by Southern African Science Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL). 

This is intended to act as the first step in the journey of the conversion of TransNamib’s locomotive fleet, that uses 11 million litres of diesel a year, to ultimately operate on green, carbon-free fuel and demonstrates the commitment by the Namibian government to develop the entire green hydrogen value chain in the country, including hydrogen use applications. 

Marco Raffinetti, CEO of Hyphen Hydrogen Energy, said: “We’re very pleased at the commitment and rapid pace of progress that the Namibian government has shown as we move towards concluding the implementation agreement to enable us to start the next phase of the project. It demonstrates the government’s belief in Hyphen’s vision and capability to execute this ambitious and transformative project. Our project will put Namibia’s green hydrogen industry firmly on the global energy and decarbonisation map and position Namibia for rapid green hydrogen scalability. I would like to thank the government for their support to date as we move forward together to deliver this important project for the country. I would also like to warmly welcome our new employees to the Hyphen team”. 

Martha Murorua, Nedbank Namibia’s managing director, said: “Having just recently inaugurated our Nedbank Campus in Windhoek’s CBD, and achieving a five-star rating from the Green Building Council to further cement our green credentials, we take great pride in welcoming Hyphen as our neighbours, as we look to catapult Namibia’s green hydrogen ambitions into absolute fulfilment”. 

Hyphen Hydrogen Energy (Pty) Ltd is a Namibian registered green hydrogen development company, specifically formed to develop green hydrogen projects in Namibia for international, regional and domestic supply. 

Hyphen successfully bid on and has been awarded preferred bidder status on approximately 4 000km2 of land within the Tsau //Khaeb National Park for the development of Namibia’s first fully vertically integrated GW scale green hydrogen project. The project is being developed as the first step in the implementation of Namibia’s strategy for the development of a large-scale green hydrogen industry in various regions in Namibia to support both economic growth in Namibia and assist the world in achieving its decarbonisation goals. 

The project, once fully developed, will employ an estimated 3 000 people, with 15 000 construction jobs supported over the four-year construction period, over 90% of which are expected to be filled by Namibians.

2022-08-31  Staff Reporter

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