Africa has witnessed the commencement of construction for Cleanergy Solutions Namibia, the continent’s first green hydrogen facility. Nestled in the coastal city of Walvis Bay, this groundbreaking project represents a monumental leap in Africa’s energy landscape.
It’s a collaborative effort between the renowned Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group and Belgium’s forward-thinking CMB.TECH, supported by a substantial investment of approximately NAD3.5 billion (R3.5 billion).
At the heart of Cleanergy Solutions Namibia lies a commitment to harness renewable energy to produce hydrogen – a versatile, clean fuel with diverse applications. Alexander Saverys, head of CMB.TECH, highlights that the plant will utilize solar power for on-site hydrogen generation, serving trucks, port machinery, and railway equipment. Moreover, the project’s visionary outlook includes the establishment of a hydrogen academy. This institution’s pivotal role is to educate and train local residents in hydrogen technology and its myriad uses.
Sven Thieme, the leader of O&L, sheds light on the project’s core: a sprawling solar power plant covering more than 10 hectares. This massive installation pairs with a hydrogen production facility featuring a 5 MW electrolyser and a 5 MWh battery. It’s an ingenious synergy of solar energy and hydrogen production, culminating in a public fuel station where hydrogen is readily available.
Namibia, blessed with abundant renewable energy sources, particularly solar and wind, stands poised to meet not only its own energy needs but also to become a significant exporter of clean energy, notably to the European Union (EU). Namibian Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises, Iipumbu Shiimi, recognizes this untapped potential within the nation’s coastal regions.
The Cleanergy Solutions Namibia project is set to achieve full operational status by mid-next year, marking a transformative step in Namibia’s journey towards sustainable development and green industrialization. The strategy revolves around utilizing renewable energy to produce hydrogen, aligning with the commitment to reduce carbon emissions and drive economic growth. This vision places Namibia squarely in the emerging global green hydrogen market, with vast implications for the nation’s economy.
Sven Thieme believes that Cleanergy Solutions Namibia is not merely a project; it’s a catalyst for economic expansion, a source of expertise for Namibians, and a generator of numerous local employment opportunities. The project encapsulates the passion and dedication of all involved in creating a more sustainable world.
In 2021, the Namibian government expressed a desire to promote clean industries within the country. In response, Namibia’s O&L Group, a private consortium contributing significantly to the nation’s GDP, joined hands with Belgium’s CMB.TECH. This collaboration has now given birth to Cleanergy Solutions Namibia, setting a remarkable precedent for sustainable energy in Africa.
As the project takes root in the sands of Namibia, it not only demonstrates the viability of hydrogen production but also cultivates the skills and knowledge required to sustain this new industry. Cleanergy Solutions Namibia isn’t just about green hydrogen; it’s a beacon of hope, lighting the way towards a more sustainable and prosperous future.