Hyphen to drive green hydrogen project

The first phase of the green hydrogen project in the Tsau //Khaeb national park is expected to enter production in 2026.
Jo-Mare Duddy Booysen
Jo-Maré Duddy – Namibia has chosen Hyphen Hydrogen Energy, a British-German developer, as the preferred bidder to develop the country’s first large-scale vertically integrated green hydrogen project in the Tsau //Khaeb national park – a total investment of about US$9.4 billion or more than N$140 billion at the current exchange rate.

Speaking at the World Leaders Summit Event: Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland last week, Pres Hage Geingob said: “We have just designed, floated and are about to award the largest tender in our nation’s history in record time to accelerate the deployment of innovative technology in the development of renewable energy and related value chains– signifying our acceptance that there is no more scope for business as usual in these dire times.”

The project will ultimately produce 300 000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year for regional and global markets, either as pure green hydrogen or in derivative form (green ammonia).

Following the conclusion of mandatory legislative processes and the entering into of the relevant contractual agreement will afford Hyphen the right to construct and operate the project for a 40-year period following the conclusion of the feasibility study and sign-off from the government.


Hyphen CEO Marco Raffinetti said the first phase, which is expected to enter production in 2026, will see the creation of 2 gigawatts of renewable electricity generation capacity to produce green hydrogen for conversion into green ammonia, at an estimated capital cost of US$4.4 billion. Further expansion phases in the late 2020s will expand combined renewable generation capacity to 5 gigawatts and 3 gigawatts of electrolyser capacity, increasing the combined total investment to US$9.4 billion.

Nearly 15 000 direct jobs created during the four-year construction of both phases, with a further 3 000 jobs created permanently during the operational phase. More than 90% of all these jobs created are expected to be filled by Namibians. In addition to taxes, Hyphen will pay concession fees, royalties, a sovereign wealth fund contribution and an environmental levy to government.


Hyphen, a Namibian registered green hydrogen development company, is a joint venture between Nicholas Holdings Limited and Enertrag South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

Nicholas Holdings Limited is a strategic investment and infrastructure project developer and operator with a 30-year track record of investment and project development in Africa and Europe, mainly through its subsidiary company, Principle Capital.

Enertrag South Africa (Pty) Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Enertrag AG, an innovative German independent power producer with a 20-year track record that provides a full range of services related to renewable energies. Enertrag is a pioneer in green hydrogen production, having commissioned the world’s first wind to green hydrogen production facility in 2011.

Hyphen director Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz said the consortium comprised shareholders and technical partners that were world leaders in their respective fields.

“This collective deep technical expertise across the entire green hydrogen value chain, combined with our financial strength and experience in developing, fundraising and implementing infrastructure projects in Africa, will be crucial in successfully delivering a project of this magnitude and complexity,” he said.

According to Raffinetti: “The Tsau //Khaeb national park is among the top 5 locations in the world for low-cost hydrogen production, benefiting from a combination of co-located onshore wind and solar resources near the sea and land export routes to market.”


Namibia’s news made headlines on business and renewable energy websites this weekend.

Creamer Media’s Engineering News said government “has stolen a hydrogen march on its larger neighbour South Africa” by announcing the project at COP26.

The online publication said the project announcement came as South Africa was seeking to accelerate its own green hydrogen efforts at a proposed new special economic zone (SEZ) called Boegoebaai, across the border from Namibia.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa has argued that Boegoebaai could bring South Africa and Namibia together as the two Southern Africa countries move to secure a piece of the green-hydrogen export market.

“Speaking at an infrastructure conference in October, Ramaphosa said that there could be enormous industrial benefits for both South Africa and Namibia as a result of the growing global appetite for green hydrogen and derivative products.

However, the Hyphen project places Namibia in pole position, even though South Africa also has some emerging green hydrogen plans for the eastern side of the country, including projects being pursued by Sasol and the so-called Hydrogen Valley project, being spearheaded by Anglo American Platinum, Bambili Energy and Engie Energy Services,” Engineering News said.


Allgemeine Zeitung 2023-03-24

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