By: Joseph Ilonga
Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila says that the 9.4 billion US$ Green hydrogen project will result in the creation of 18 000 direct jobs over the course of its four-year construction.Kuugongelwa-Amadhila who was speaking at the Green hydrogen conference this morning indicated that Namibia aims to produce 300,000 tonnes of green hydrogen annually for the domestic, regional, and international energy markets. According to the global opportunity analysis and industry focus for 2021 to 2028, the global green hydrogen market size was valued at only 300 million USD in 2020, and is projected to reach 9.8 billion US$ by 2028. According to Kuugongelwa- Amadhila the landmark project, which is a component of the second Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) development strategy, will accelerate Namibia's economic and social progress by creating thousands of jobs across a range of critical economic sectors. “It is estimated that this landmark project will create 15 000 direct jobs in the four years of integrated construction and three thousand direct jobs during the first two phases, while contributing to other efforts to promote economic stability,” said Kuugongelwa-Amahila. The Prime Minister added that upstream opportunities exist in areas such as wind turbines and solar panels assembly, IT services, consulting and water provision. She further added that the downstream job opportunities range from areas such as the production of fertilisers, green ammonia, green zinc, aviation and diamonds, as well as the construction of ports and rail networks. When the President of Namibia, Hage Geingob announced that Hyphen Hydrogen Energy had been selected as the preferred bidder to develop the US$9.4 billion vertically integrated green hydrogen project, McHenry Venaani, the leader of the official opposition, and Graham Hopwood of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) expressed their reservations about the bidding process. Hopwood claimed that Hyphen was selected outside of the standard procurement procedure and Venaani expressed his concern with the awarding of a 40-year contract to Hyphen to develop the country's massive green hydrogen project. German ambassador Herbert Beck stated during the conference that the market for green hydrogen energy is not based on short-term profit models but rather on a sustainable model that enables long-term profits. Beck added this is essential for addressing many social and economic challenges facing the nation. Kuugongelwa- Amadhila stated that the project will enable Namibia to become an energy exporter rather than a net importer of electricity, since it currently imports over 70% of its energy. Furthermore, by doing this, it will be possible to distribute energy to every corner of the country, allowing local communities to take advantage of the growing economy. The new green hydrogen energy sector will enable Namibia to move from being an emerging and developing country to having a reputable economy on an international market.