First N$270m green hydrogen plant launched

… operations slated to commence next year

• By Hilary Mare

THE Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group and CMB.TECH launched Namibia’s first green hydrogen production plant, a demonstration hub for hydrogen applications that will be built in the Erongo region.

The construction at an investment of approximately N$270 million will start during 2022 with the aim to be operational by the end of 2023.

Depending on the results of the demonstration plant, a larger scale production plant will follow in a second phase, possibly using ammonia as transport fuel.

O&L and CMB.TECH also announced the joint venture, Cleanergy Namibia, which will develop green hydrogen production projects in the country including leading the green hydrogen production plant and demonstration hub, its first development in Namibia and the continent.

The aim is to produce green hydrogen from solar power and distribute the clean fuel to heavy-duty applications like trucks, locomotives, mining equipment and ships.

“At O&L, we are guided by our purpose and one of the biggest concerns of our time that will directly affect the quality of the future we create is climate change. The world is in a race to limit global warming and reach net-zero emissions by 2050, in accordance with the United Nations’ global roadmap, and one of the key shifts required to ensure a sustainable future includes the transition to clean energy solutions. While the move away from fossil fuels may take several paths, green hydrogen is one that shows tremendous potential in getting us there,” O&L executive chairman, Sven Thieme said this week while unveiling Cleanergy adding that Namibia is a growing hub when it comes to the generation of renewable energy, whether that be through solar, wind or hydroelectric power.

“This is what makes our country optimally positioned to explore the generation of green hydrogen, or hydrogen that is generated using renewable electricity. With Namibia’s capacity to generate solar power in particular, the country has the potential to be at the forefront of green hydrogen development and progress towards greater energy independence,” he added.

CEO of CMB.TECH, Alexander Saverys also said that they were delighted to announce the joint venture with O&L and the launch of a very innovative project in Namibia.

“Namibia has the potential to produce green molecules (such as hydrogen and ammonia) on a large scale and at low cost. Green and affordable molecules are an essential part of the energy transition. With our announcement today, we hope to demonstrate that words can be turned into actions when it comes to green hydrogen projects,” Saverys said.

Cleanergy Namibia’s ambitions go beyond the initial production and demonstration plant. Building on the expertise that will be acquired during the construction of the hydrogen plant, Cleanergy will simultaneously develop a much larger green hydrogen and ammonia factory in Namibia.  By starting the hydrogen production plant already in 2022, Cleanergy Namibia wants to demonstrate that green hydrogen projects are already a reality today.

“The demonstration plant could prove to be the first step in creating an entirely new industry in Namibia in addition to enabling knowledge transfer into the country; upskilling opportunities and creating employment; driving further research, including collaboration with the University of Namibia; and developing future offtake opportunities in sectors such as transportation, mining, heavy machinery, and power generation,”Thieme further said.