Namibia’s Billion Dollar Green Hydrogen Pilot Projects Unveiled

Beneficiaries of the 30 million Euro funding by Germany towards various green hydrogen pilot projects in Namibia pictured with Green Hydrogen Commissioner James Mnyupe (extreme left) and German Ambassador to Namibia Herbert Beck (3rd from left) during the unveiling of the projects.

Namibia’s four green hydrogen pilot projects were unveiled during the Green Hydrogen Conference held in the capital in August. The groundbreaking conference was jointly organised by the Economic Association of Namibia (EAN), Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) and Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF).

The German government has available 30 million Euro (N$523 million) to fund the projects which range from hydrogen dual fuel locomotives, refuelling stations, port applications to agriculture.

As much as 25 applications were received for the pilot projects under Namibia’s Green Hydrogen initiative.

Green Hydrogen Commissioner James Mnyupe, who unveiled the projects, said an amount of N$96 million (€5, 66 million) has been made available to test green hydrogen applications in the Walvis Bay port environment. The project is being developed by the partnership between Cleanergy Solutions Namibia, CMB Germany, Namibia Ports Authority (Namport) and the University of Namibia (UNAM).

It will consist of a 5 megawatt (MW) electrolyser and a hydrogen mobile refueller (945kg at 500bar). It will convert a tugboat and existing port equipment to operate on hydrogen dual fuel technology, develop green bunkering and refueling infrastructure at the port and elevate the Germany-Namibia partnership across the entire green hydrogen value chain for the proposed technologies.

A Cleanergy hydrogen refuelling station is being set up at Walvis Bay. The N$425 million (€25 million) project will consist of a 5MW solar photovoltaic system, a 5MW electrolyser and a hydrogen refueling system. The pilot project will test technologies to develop offtake applications in transport, mining and port sectors and facilitate technology and skills development in Namibia. Building upon the lessons learned with the pilot plant, a second phase with a bigger commercial plant including ammonia production is planned.

The Cleanergy demonstration hub will be the first of its kind in Africa where hydrogen directly from a PV farm will produce green hydrogen which is dispensed at a public refuelling station.

Nearly N$130 million (€7, 63 million) has been made available to develop a hydrogen dual fuel locomotive pilot project to be carried out in conjunction with TransNamib.  A fleet of 50 locomotives operating on the Walvis Bay to Kranzberg corridor will be converted to use GH2 dual fuel.

The partnership of CMB.Tech, UNAM, Hyphen Technical, TransNamib, Namibia Green Hydrogen Research Institute (NGHRI) and Nicholas Holding is working on this project.

The project will convert two locomotives in different ways to operate on hydrogen and diesel and will be demonstrated along the 210km (one way) Walvis Bay to Kranzberg route in 18 months. CMB.Tech will provide its hydrogen dual fuel technology and the hydrogen fuel from its Walvis Bay green hydrogen project.

An amount of N$258 million (€15.1 million) has been set aside for a 1, 5 gigawatts green hydrogen project that will produce 508kg of green ammonia per day in the first phase in the Daures constituency. The project aims to establish a green scheme for ammonia nitrate crop, develop integrated application technologies for using green hydrogen in agriculture, ammonia nitrate and cleaning detergents; and fuel cell operated center pivots, boreholes and houses.

Partners in the agriculture project are NGHRI, University of Stuttgart, Enapter, Windwise and Enersense Namibia.

Green Hydrogen Commissioner Mnyupe also presented what he called the Namibian and regional hydrogen ecosystem which details initial plans to develop four hydrogen valleys namely; Erongo, Karas, Otjozondjupa and Kunene.

  • Valley 1 (Erongo) will see the use of solar PV-powered electrolysis to produce ammonia and a terminal for synfuels export from the port of Walvis Bay.
  • Valley 2 (Karas) will involve the development of a solar photovoltaic and on-shore wind hybrid renewable energy powered electrolysis project to produce ammonia for export from the ports of Lüderitz and Oranjemund. These will be linked through a hydrogen pipeline.
  • Valley 3 (Otjozondjupa) will produce synfuel using carbon dioxide emitted by the cement industry and solar PV powered hydrogen as feedstock for export from Walvis Bay.
  • Valley 4 (Kunene) will see the establishment of a solar PV and wind hybrid renewables powered electrolysis plant to produce ammonia near a new port facility to be built.

Plans also include developing green copper trade with Zambia by hydrogen rail, interconnection with Angola through EU Global Partnership, ramping up domestic demand to fuel hydrogen-powered open pit-mining trucks, heavy duty trucks, buses and rails and hydrogen trucking along the planned logistics corridor. Hydrogen and renewable power export to South Africa and carbon dioxide imports from South Africa are also being planned.

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