Hard-to-abate carbon emissions-intensive sectors – such as heavy-duty transport, aviation, maritime and heavy industries – may be able to reduce their emissions through the use of green hydrogen produced at a deep-water harbour facility in Boegoebaai, 60 km north of Port Nolloth.
By: Donna Slater
Creamer Media Contributing Editor and Photographer
The Boegoebaai green hydrogen development has been designated a Strategic Integrated Project in the South African National Development Plan and is located in the Namakwa Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
Green hydrogen is produced using only renewable energy sources.
Speaking during a stakeholder engagement meeting in Port Nolloth on January 17, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said such hard-to-abate industries cannot be decarbonised through renewable energy and electrification or through renewable energy and battery storage and that green hydrogen was “the best, long-term opportunity” to decarbonise such sectors as it produces zero harmful emissions.
Integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol signed a memorandum of agreement with the Northern Cape Economic Development, Trade and Promotion Agency to lead a 24-month feasibility study to explore the potential of Boegoebaai as an export hub for green hydrogen and ammonia.
Currently, Sasol is a major grey hydrogen (hydrogen made from natural gas) manufacturer, producing about 2.4-million tonnes a year for the domestic market.
The production of green hydrogen, however, provides Sasol with an opportunity to leverage its expertise to enter a new market through greenfield facilities like the planned Boegoebaai Green Hydrogen SEZ, said Gungubele.
At the same time, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition is developing a hydrogen commercialisation strategy, and the Northern Cape and Gauteng provincial governments are developing provincial green hydrogen strategies focused on exports and domestic decarbonisation, respectively.
South Africa has a number of strategic advantages which could make it a globally competitive green hydrogen production area, said Gungubele.