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Mbumba: Green hydrogen fuels logistics dream

For too long, Namibia has harboured the desire to become an indispensable logistics hub for Southern Africa.

To enhance this ambition, President Nangolo Mbumba said Namibia is now developing an ammonia bunkering hub and a green hydrogen-powered train to decarbonise shipping and long-haul logistics routes.

This, the President noted, would ensure goods and commodities transported via the local port infrastructure minimise harmful emissions.

“Green hydrogen offers opportunities beyond just clean molecule production. It holds the potential to anchor new industries in emerging markets across the globe,” said Mbumba while delivering his keynote address on Tuesday at the World Hydrogen 2024 Summit and Exhibition in Rotterdam, Netherlands. 

The event is considered the largest and most high-profile global hydrogen event. 

He continued that this development will not only increase the competitiveness of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz as harbours of choice for key exporters and importers, but also the competitiveness of Namibia’s regional goods.

It will further augment the African Continental Free Trade Area, thereby boosting intra-African trade in the process.

“Namibia sees the 21st century as a transformative era for Africa, utilising greener technologies for industrialisation, economic transformation, job-creation, poverty
reduction and inclusive societies,” he added.

Africa’s first 

Furthermore, Mbumba stated that Namibia penned agreements aimed at exploring the feasibility of building Africa’s first cross-country green hydrogen pipeline. This pipeline would connect Namibia and South Africa, and
facilitate significant trade in new products between the two countries.

Namibia’s vast renewable resources offer a unique opportunity to transition to net zero emissions, boost industrialisation, achieve energy security and contribute to the global climate challenge through affordable, clean energy. “Green hydrogen promises to buttress our relations at the regional and international levels. The Namibian government, together with national and international stakeholders, is spearheading efforts to unlock the massive potential of green hydrogen,” said the President.

The agreement was signed by the Namibia green hydrogen programme with the Western Cape Development Agency (Wesgro), their counterparts from the Northern Cape Economic Development, Trade and Investment
Promotion Agency (NCEDA), and Gasunie, the Netherlands’ leading hydrogen backbone developer.

Mines and energy minister Tom Alweendo also told the global audience in the Netherlands that it is critical to work in concert with regional neighbours to deliver a new global gateway that creates modern trade and low-carbon industrial opportunities. “These are to place the region at the centre of a rapidly-greening world. The Trans-Caprivi and Trans-Kalahari railway lines are good examples of cross-country infrastructure that require careful planning with our neighbours,” he said.

He further stressed that large-scale green hydrogen projects will allow the production of low-carbon goods such as green iron and ammonia. Excess electrons from these projects, Alweendo said, can be exported to neighbours, alleviating regional energy insecurity. To do this, there is a need to prioritise transmission lines into the southern African power pool. Namibian officials estimate that the successful execution of the green industrialisation blueprint could unlock more than nine times the national stock of foreign direct investment between now and 2040.  This holds the potential to create more than a quarter-million jobs, while abating more than 75 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide. 

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