Government and Hyphen Hydrogen Energy have launched the socio-economic development framework (SED Framework) for Namibia’s landmark US$10 billion green hydrogen project.
The SED Framework, launched at Keetmanshoop, is an integral part of the Feasibility and Implementation Agreement (FIA) which demonstrates government’s commitment to incorporating socio-economic development targets for green hydrogen developers in the implementation of Namibia’s green hydrogen strategy.
The framework highlights the specific benefits and opportunities that the project will bring to Namibia including but not limited to employment, procurement and skills development. Hyphen has embarked on a roadshow to engage with local communities to unpack the elements comprising the SED Framework and to communicate how Namibians can benefit from the project.
The framework sets out the process to agree the project’s targets in respect of employment, local procurement, skills development and enterprise and supplier development.
Hyphen’s Head of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG), Toni Beukes, said the company aims to co-create solutions with local communities, together with government, as it develops a road map for the delivery of a comprehensive socio-economic development strategy.
“It’s our ambition that this project and manner of setting socio-economic commitments for the project will set a new global benchmark for the sustainable and equitable development of large-scale green hydrogen projects that puts inclusive economics and robust environmental sustainability at its heart. We would like to extend our humble thanks and appreciation to government as our partners in this project and look forward to getting to work,” said Beukes.
The pioneering FIA governs the process for the development, implementation and operation of Namibia’s first green hydrogen project. When completed it will be sub-Saharan Africa’s largest and only fully vertically integrated green hydrogen project.
Hyphen estimates that the project will create up to 15,000 new jobs during the construction phase and 3,000 permanent jobs during its operation on completion of both phases, with the target for 90% of these jobs to be filled by Namibians with 20% specifically targeted for youth.
The project further estimates 30% local procurement of goods, services and/or materials during the construction and operational phases. The SED Framework includes a robust process by which Hyphen will validate these estimates through comprehensive baseline studies conducted during the feasibility phase, with the government undertaking its own baseline studies in parallel.
Hyphen will undertake various initiatives to drive effective stakeholder engagement throughout the development phase. Under a strict governance framework, the government will agree the final contractual delivery obligations of Hyphen in respect of its socio-economic development commitments in the delivery of the project, including appropriate sanctions in the event of non-performance.
Government and Hyphen have embarked on a three-month national community roadshow that will run till October, aimed at actively engaging with local communities, businesses and individuals across the country, providing detailed insights into the SED Framework and explaining how the project is intended to work and the potential benefits it offers to Namibians.