Public–private partnerships (PPPs) will be crucial in building awareness and implementing the broad array of mutual advantages between Namibia and South Africa that are needed for developing green hydrogen opportunities for the benefit of the Southern African region, Freeport Saldanha CEO Kaashifah Beukes has said.
Freeport Saldanha, in partnership with Siemens Energy Southern Africa, recently hosted a “Green Hydrogen Lunch” at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business Conference Centre, in Cape Town.
The programme highlighted to the business and public sectors the potential of regional collaboration in this rapidly emerging clean energy field.
South Africa and Namibia are exploring localisation opportunities in shared infrastructure, supply chain development and the decarbonisation potential of mining and other sectors.
The two countries are noted to boast considerable resources and share similar goals for sustainable economic growth and energy security. This gathering examined how an integrated and coordinated approach between public and private sector stakeholders would best facilitate these opportunities.
Western Cape Economic Development and Tourism head Velile Dube told delegates attending the discussion that greater collaboration, not only between South Africa and Namibia, but also between public and private sector stakeholders, would be needed to advance the course to a green hydrogen value chain.
“We look forward to seeing how the collaboration can be realised through shared infrastructure and making sure we share the best of our minds in realising this dream.”
Namibia Green Hydrogen Commissioner James Mnyupe and the South African Presidency’s Infrastructure Office head Dr KgosientshoRamokgopa presented keynote addresses.
In his keynote address, Mnyupe discussed a deep appreciation for the journey Namibia has undertaken and what it has done in the public sector.
“Enabling infrastructure comes in all forms, from hard, such as the regulatory environment and the support given through their structures to assist private project developers, to the soft, such as relationship and capacity building within our institutions,” he said.
“Opportunities around green hydrogen requires a great deal of collaboration between the governments of South Africa and Namibia, and Mr James Mnyupe and I have a great appreciation of what that means for the region and the continent at large. Working together we can achieve more,” Ramokgopa averred.
Beukes, meanwhile, said Saldanha Bay, in the Western Cape, was the perfect investment location for PPPs to develop a world-class, globally competitive green hydrogen and derivatives production hub alongside the projects under way in Boegoebaai, in the Northern Cape, and in Namibia.
“Being a Freeport is a value-add in itself and has significant strategic advantages. As a special economic zone, we can catalyse regional industrial development and help launch a hydrogen complex that benefits both the public and private sectors,” she highlighted.
Freeport Saldanha has been identified as one of nine green hydrogen projects with priority status in the R300-billion investment pipeline under South Africa’s Green Hydrogen National Programme.
This programme has been designated a Strategic Integrated Project for accelerated development under the country’s Infrastructure Development Act.