PRESIDENT Hage Geingob has encouraged the public to give the Green Hydrogen Project between the government and Hyphen Hydrogen Energy a chance to succeed, emphasising that “this beautiful idea” holds many promising benefits for the country.
The president said this following the signing of the Feasibility and Implementation Agreement (FIA) of the Green Hydrogen Project between the government and Hyphen Hydrogen Energy. He explained that the project is one of the government’s efforts to create employment for the Namibian population, particularly the residents of the South.
“When we are not creating jobs, government is accused. We are now taking steps to create jobs, so allow us. I have a mandate to do that, so allow us to do that. We are consulting, we are educating people about what we are doing,” President Geingob said.
The project’s potential to create jobs was reaffirmed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hyphen, Marco Raffineti, who revealed that they intend to employ 50,000 people to build the project and 3,000 to run the facility. In both cases, 90% of these employees ought to be Namibian, he said.
He explained that the project is also aiming to make use of 30% local procurement, which, he emphasised, is “enormous” in terms of the Namibian economy.
Further expanding on this, ENERTRAG’S CEO, Dr Gunar Hering, said that the project lays the foundation for a bright future for Namibia. According to him, if the project is seen through, it could make inequality and unemployment distant thoughts for Namibia by 2050.
Besides this, the project is also expected to become a significant contributor to the Namibian fiscus. This was emphasised by the Green Hydrogen Commissioner of Namibia, James Mnyupe, who said that the government will make royalties from the establishment of the project. How much, he added, cannot be said with certainty at this stage as revenues are not finalised.
“It’s very hard to talk about what the numbers could be. We have worked on quite a few examples, of course, and iterations as the Namibian government in estimating those, and we know that in some fairly manageable ranges, this particular project could produce almost 20% of today’s fiscal take as government,” Mnyupe said.
The Minister of Finance, Iipumbu Shiimi, explained that the government is already going to receive money during the feasibility study of this project. He explained that the government will receive money from the leasehold during the feasibility study as Hyphen is leasing two pieces of land in the Tsau ǁKhaeb National Park for the project.
“I think we’re talking about around €12 million that is going to be paid by Hyphen during the feasibility study. After that, we’ll have to determine what will be the fees that Hyphen is going to pay, but during the leasehold, the government is already going to receive money,” he said.
Hyphen is a joint venture of Nicholas Holdings Limited and ENERTRAG, which is one of Germany’s largest renewable energy companies in the world. The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, the Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises, Iipumbu Shiimi, and the Minister of Works and Transport, John Mutorwa, signed the FIA on behalf of the government, while Raffineti, Simon Hagedorn, and Tobias Bischof-Niemz signed on behalf of Hyphen Hydrogen Energy.