Anglo American Platinum CEO Natascha Viljoen says South Africa’s hydrogen corridor, a critical integrated project, will create 14,000 jobs and use 63,000 oz of platinum.
PGMs, abundant in South Africa, power this green energy source.
Viljoen noted that the US government’s Inflation Reduction Act effectively lowers the cost of producing green hydrogen to negative, which is driving investments in hydrogen infrastructure and end-use.
Anglo Platinum showed a presentation about South Africa’s 2023 hydrogen corridor testing with 20 buses and three trucks. The third experimental phase may involve 500 trucks and 300 buses by 2028.
Viljoen noted that EU initiatives had lowered the cost of green hydrogen, which was used in Uber fleets in Germany. All of these global advances point to South Africa’s PGMs industry, which employs 500,000 people directly, being preserved and even boosted as the world moves away from fossil fuels to combat climate change.
Mining multiplies those 500 000 jobs into many more indirect jobs.
Platinum-based proton exchange membrane, or PEM, electrolysis is appropriate for renewable energy’s fluctuation, and PGMs’ unique capacity to handle temperature and energy variety stimulates their usage in the hydrogen market. This lowers costs and boosts efficiency overall.
Hydrogen generating and fuel cell electric cars (FCEVs) that convert hydrogen into green electricity are also less mineral intensive from engine to wheel.
While FCEVs require minimal amounts of PGMs as their principal material input, large amounts of lithium, nickel and copper are required in batteries for BEVs. FCEVs also make recycling easier.
AngloPlatinumFD Craig Miller predicted that gasoline hybrid vehicles and FCEVs, which require PGMs, would help decarbonize transport, with numerous automakers resuming manufacturing.