Namibia announces partner for $9 billion hydrogen & ammonia project

By Julian Atchison on November 11, 2021

Click to learn more. HYPHEN & Namibian government representatives (including President Hage Geingob) announce the partnership at COP26. Source: HYPHEN.

HYPHEN Hydrogen Energy will develop the first green mega-project in Namibia. The $9.4 billion, 300,000 tonnes per year green hydrogen project was first announced in July, and will focus on providing green hydrogen & ammonia product to local and global markets. The project site will be within the Tsau Khaeb national park: a coastal diamond mining area in the Namib desert with world-class onshore wind and solar resources. The site will have close proximity to both key shipping routes around southern Africa, and key land transport corridors.

“The first phase, which is expected to enter production in 2026, will see the creation of 2 gigawatts of renewable electricity generation capacity to produce green hydrogen for conversion into green ammonia, at an estimated capital cost of US$4.4 billion. Further expansion phases in the late 2020s will expand combined renewable generation capacity to 5 gigawatts and 3 gigawatts of electrolyser capacity, increasing the combined total investment to US$9.4 billion”, said HYPHEN CEO Marco Raffinetti.

Once fully developed, the project will provide a major boost to Namibia in terms of foreign direct investment and job creation. The US$9.4 billion investment amounts to the same order of magnitude of the country’s current GDP, and will see nearly 15,000 direct jobs created during the four-year construction of both phases, with a further 3,000 jobs created permanently during the operational phase. More than 90% of all these jobs created are expected to be filled by Namibians. In addition to taxes, HYPHEN will pay concession fees, royalties, a sovereign wealth fund contribution and an environmental levy to the Government.

HYPHEN’s official press release, 4 Nov 2021

A full breakdown of the project can be found in the presentation made by HYPHEN & Namibian government representatives at COP26: watch the recording here.

Ammonia in Namibia, Mauritania & South Africa

This week we’ve also seen the Mauritania ammonia mega-project move into its next phase. The last of the trio – South Africa – is currently exploring the feasibility of two renewable hydrogen projects that feature public-private partnerships:

  • national energy organisation Sasol is leading development of the Boegoebaai green hydrogen project in the Northern Cape, with a proposal for deep water port construction on a 60,000 hectare site, with 30 GW of wind and solar energy powering 5 GW of electrolysers.
  • and three potential hydrogen hubs have been identified following a joint study between the national Department of Science & Innovation and Anglo American. South Africa could establish a “Hydrogen Valley” linking Mokopane (where Anglo operates a platinum mine) to Johannesburg via key industrial corridors, before ending in the port city of Durban.

South Africa’s cabinet approved an updated version of the country’s Hydrogen Society Roadmap last month, but we are still eagerly waiting for a formal national hydrogen strategy to emerge.