Home South Africa Northern and Western Cape embark on green hydrogen initiative – SABC News

Northern and Western Cape embark on green hydrogen initiative – SABC News

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The Western Cape and Northern Cape authorities have committed to collaborate and seek to join forces with Namibia in a bid to create a green hydrogen investment corridor in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

The three regions have invested heavily in the construction of a green hydrogen power plant.
The joint effort was announced at the inaugural Africa Green Hydrogen Summit, which begins Tuesday in Cape Town.

Saldaña Bay is well known for its metallurgical industry and large port infrastructure.

Key participants of the summit, including potential investors, government decision-makers and project sponsors, began with a visit to the Saldanha Industrial Zone.

One of the priorities was a visit to steelmaker Arcelo Mittal, which is reportedly set to close in 2020 due to high electricity tariffs, putting more than 900 workers out of work.

The company was powered by fossil fuels before it was shut down for maintenance. It is planned to revive it and use green hydrogen for the production of low-carbon iron.

CEO of Free Port Saldanha, Kaashifah Beukes says, “There is a huge demand potential for Saldanha. Arcello Mittal’s team has shown you that they need about 104 kilotons per year. To put this in perspective, Japan, on its decarbonisation journey, has said it wants to achieve 400 kilotons by 2030. Just one plant in South Africa requires 100 kilotons, so the market for South Africa is huge.”

Saldanha is one of the largest deep-water ports in Africa for the export of iron ore and has rail links with mines in the Northern Cape.

Authorities say they want to use the strategic geographic location of these three areas to build a green hydrogen economic corridor in southwest Africa.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says: “Today we will be signing a memorandum of understanding with the Northern Cape province, we hope to get Namibia involved to make this a corridor for investment.”

Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul says: “We want to be active participants in the transition to a green economy. Free Saldanha is important for the hydrogen corridor on the western side. The Saldanha Freeport is critical to securing the reunification of the Northern Cape and we are building the Bruges Baby Port and I hope we will be working with the Saldanha Freeport.”

Billed as the first of its kind, the Green Hydrogen Summit is being called the launch pad for the green economy of the next thirty to fifty years.

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