The southern corridor development initiative in the //Kharas region, through a massive investment of US$10 billion by Hyphen Hydrogen Energy, once fully developed will employ an estimated 3 000 people, while some 15 000 construction jobs are expected to be supported over the four-year construction period.
Over 90% of these positions are anticipated to be filled by Namibians.
At the recently concluded World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Namibian government reported on progress made concerning the country’s first large-scale vertically integrated green hydrogen project, implemented by Hyphen Hydrogen Energy (Hyphen).
This investment project is planned to be developed in phases, with the full development targeting 300 000 metric tons of green hydrogen production a year from 5-6GW of renewable generation capacity and 3GW electrolyser.
An electrolyser is an electric current in the water used to break it down into its components of hydrogen and oxygen.
The Tsau //Khaeb national park southern corridor development initiative (SCDI) hydrogen project was conceived by the Namibian government in 2021 as part of its national growth and economic recovery plan.
Outlining their plans in a statement released yesterday, Hyphen stated the first phase of 125 000 tons of green hydrogen production is planned for end of 2026.
“Since the announcement of Hyphen as a preferred bidder at COP26, the Namibian government and Hyphen have been working to undertake planning and pre-feasibility activities, and have agreed on an ambitious timeline for negotiating the implementation agreement in line with the requirements of the tender process,” reads the statement.
According to the statement, the pre-feasibility activities include a master planning process, which will focus on how the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) will best accommodate the green hydrogen industry in southern Namibia in the future.
The master plan, which will commence shortly, is being developed by Namport and the Port of Rotterdam as strategic partners to Namport, with Hyphen providing technical input. The new port master plan will integrate green hydrogen exports from the SCDI with Namport’s expansion plans for other cargos to support regional growth.
According to an ambitious schedule proposed by Hyphen, construction is planned to commence in January 2025.
Marco Raffinetti, CEO of Hyphen, said: “Namibia has the potential to become a global renewable energy powerhouse. It has a unique endowment of renewable resources and vast land area, and is supported by strong leadership from government with clear policy direction and relentless drive to see this vision successfully implemented”.
Meanwhile, mines minister Tom Alweendo said as the world moves towards net-zero emission by 2050, Namibia’s vast natural renewable energy resources offer a unique opportunity to generate the energy of the future – green hydrogen.
“Our collaboration with Hyphen thus far has proven that better outcomes are guaranteed when partners work for a common vision. For us, the time for planning is over – and it’s now time to implement. We now have a clear shot at being a front runner as a continental green hydrogen production hub,” explained Alweendo.
Also at Davos, Chris Ashton, CEO of global engineering group Worley, said Namibia is a rising star in the green hydrogen space because it has a natural competitive advantage.
He noted the country has the opportunity to differentiate itself and become a core component of the journey toward creating a healthy future for the planet.