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Home » Industry News » Sustainability News South Africa » Groundbreaking study to accelerate green hydrogen international production and export infrastructure

Groundbreaking study to accelerate green hydrogen international production and export infrastructure

A consortium led by Nelson Mandela University and Ikigai Group has won a UK Government grant under the South Africa-UK PACT programme to deliver an innovative feasibility study to explore the viability of Green Hydrogen Production and Export Infrastructure from South Africa’s Eastern Cape region to global markets, including the UK, Europe, and Japan.

The project delivered by the consortium will be working with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of South Africa in support of South Africa’s wider development and just energy transition plans.

The consortium comprises several industry leaders and experts in the energy transition, including University College London, DNV, National Gas, University of Kent, and the Thames Estuary Growth Board. The consortium is also supported by key delivery partners, including Hive Energy, Hive Hydrogen, the Nedbank Group, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and Advantage Partners, who will provide fund management services to the Japan Hydrogen Association’s new fund dedicated to hydrogen related investments.

Green hydrogen, produced through electrolysis using renewable energy sources, offers a clean and versatile alternative to conventional fossil fuels. The feasibility study will evaluate the potential for establishing green hydrogen production facilities in South Africa’s Eastern Cape region and developing the necessary infrastructure for export, including port facilities and transportation networks.

Stakeholder engagement will be integral to the process, to ensure alignment with local communities, government agencies, and industry partners.

The export focus of the project is key not only to maximise the valorisation of abundant renewable energy resources in the Eastern Cape and surrounding provinces, but also to provide a diversification of revenue streams via the sale of green hydrogen and green ammonia to international markets, which is critical to ensure the bankability and ultimately the delivery of the overall project.

By fostering innovation, job creation, community participation and sustainable development, the project aims to contribute to a greener, more resilient future for South Africa and beyond.

Professor Sibongile Muthwa, Vice Chancellor at Nelson Mandela University stated that “South Africa generally and the Province of the Eastern Cape in particular experience high levels of poverty, inequality, and unemployment. South Africa is committed to deliver economic growth through a just transition from, inter alia, dependence on fossil fuel-based energy production. This feasibility study aims to inform strategic decisions for the production and export of green hydrogen from the Eastern Cape, potentially reshaping South Africa’s economy for inclusive growth.”

Helena Anderson, Co-Founder & COO at Ikigai commented that: “The missing links in hydrogen moving from an inter-regional to an international commodity are import and export ports receiving, converting, and onwards distributing infrastructure and the hydrogen carriers from a HSE and total lifecycle cost perspective. This green hydrogen corridor project is looking at all these aspects. It’s focusing on a large-scale green hydrogen project in South Africa, comparing it with ammonia as a counterfactual carrier, and exploring how we can deliver hydrogen to places like Japan, Europe, and the UK. The goal is to show that exporting hydrogen can also boost local demand.”

Antony Phillipson, British High Commissioner to South Africa stated: “I am delighted to see the launch of this exciting new project under the South Africa-UK PACT Country Fund. This project strengthens the UK’s support to South Africa as part of the Just Energy Transition Partnership. We are excited by the potential impact of the outputs of this study, which will play a key role in accelerating efforts to advance the green hydrogen export agenda in the Eastern Cape and the green hydrogen economy across the country.”

Catherine Koffman, group executive: Project Preparation at the Development Bank of Southern Africa confirmed that “The funding for the study demonstrates the catalytic impact of collaboration between private sector and development capital. The partnership will facilitate the creation of a new asset class in the energy sector with a profound and positive economic, social, and environmental impact in the province and the country. This feasibility study will also, through import and export infrastructure assessments, address regional integration of sustainable green hydrogen projects and contribute to Africa’s prosperity.”

Colin Loubser, CEO of Hive Energy Africa and GM of Hive Hydrogen South Africa added: “We are delighted that our Team based in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa are able to support this initiative and its wider impact on the country and beyond. Hive Hydrogen’s development work over the past three years on the Coega Green Ammonia Project in the Eastern Cape, South Africa has produced many insights into how these projects should be developed within the existing and evolving government frameworks, country legislation and bankability challenges and what is required for success both commercially and for all the communities these projects impact.  It is a pleasure to work with and share our experience with the South Africa-UK PACT programme.”

For more information contact: https://www.hiveenergy.co.uk/green-energy/

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