Hive Hydrogen South Africa, a partnership between U.K energy company, Hive Energy, and South African energy companies BuiltAfrica, and Afrox, have announced plans to establish a $4.6bn green ammonia plant in Gqeberha, South Africa. The plant will be located in the Coega Special Economic Zone, alongside the Port of Ngqura.
According to Hive Energy CEO, Giles Redpath, they have been working on renewable energy powered green hydrogen and green ammonia projects since 2019.
“Together with Built Africa and Afrox, we have reached this critical milestone in our completion of the pre-feasibility studies for this project. We can now confidently announce our collective aspiration to move forward to the Final Investment Decision and commence the development of this world leading project at the Coega Special Economic Zone. The renewable energy and energy storage component alone will be the biggest project of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa and one of the largest globally,” said Redpath.
The plant will use desalinated and demineralised water for electrolysis to produce green hydrogen. The water will be supplied by salt producer Cerebos, after the parties reached an agreement late last year.
Part of the plans on the project include construction of solar and wind farms to power the electrolysers. Around 3 200 MW of renewable energy capacity, and 3.4 megalitres of water a day will be required to produce the targeted output of 780,000 ton/year of green ammonia.
Global Green Ammonia demand surging
As the world seeks to decarbonise industries and transition to cleaner production, green ammonia is anticipated to be the main fuel in the maritime industry and for coal substitution. There’s also an expected surge in demand for green ammonia globally to meet agricultural, chemical and mining requirements. African countries with substantial renewable energy resources are gearing up to attract investment in green ammonia and green hydrogen production to supply to world markets.
The Hive Hydrogen South Africa project will be South Africa’s first project in the green ammonia production field. Neighbouring Namibia recently announced a $9,4 billion green ammonia production project awarded to Germany linked company, HYPHEN Hydrogen Energy.
The Hive Hydrogen project is being supported by InvestSA, a branch of the South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, specifically with investment facilitation through the InvestSA One Stop Shop mechanism.
“The Department of Trade, Industry & Competition recognises the importance of the green hydrogen sector in contributing to increased investment and industrial development opportunities. The Department’s work in this regard is coordinated through the High Level Panel on Hydrogen, established by Minister Ebrahim Patel,” said Yunus Hoosen, Head of InvestSA.