Ahead of the Inaugural Green Hydrogen Summit to be held in Cape Town, Premier Alan Winde and Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)to develop a green hydrogen (GH2) hub and corridor.
Premier Winde welcomes this significant milestone. “This Memorandum of Understanding represents an important step in our collective drive towards energy resilience and seeking out more economic opportunities,” he said.
The MoU comprises heads of agreement on the principles and areas of cooperation of this historic development. The agreement will consolidate efforts towards a Western SADC Green Hydrogen Corridor.
Premier Winde stressed, “We cannot afford to wait for solutions to be delivered to us to address the dual challenges of the climate and the energy crisis, both of which continue to worsen. We, along with our strategic partners must create and jump on opportunities. This MoU is just the beginning of our historic move towards developing a green hydrogen economy through building critical relationships, in this case, with our Northern Cape colleagues and role players in the private sector.”
While touring the mothballed Saldanha Steel plant – which will be a crucial component in this project – the Premier remarked, “I cannot wait to hear this plant roar back to life.”
GH2 internationally will play a significant role in the transition to a net-zero energy system. The Western Cape is well placed to be a future global producer and trader in the energy market, in a complementary role to the planned new bulk export port at Boegoebaai in the Northern Cape.
Premier Winde adds, “This project will secure foreign direct investment, earn foreign revenue as well as generate economic growth and jobs.” He emphasised, “There must be a sense of urgency in this project given the seriousness of the challenges we are facing.”
To mark the occasion Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister Mireille Wenger said, “Produced by using renewable energy for electrolysis, green hydrogen is an exciting emerging decarbonisation solution globally, as the world moves to ensure its energy security, while cutting its carbon emissions. South Africa generally, and the Western Cape and Northern Cape specifically, have been identified as potential Green Hydrogen Hubs. By working together, the Western Cape and Northern Cape are perfectly positioned to explore the potential of green hydrogen and increasing demand through production, bulk exports, and by attracting foreign direct investment which will contribute to economic growth and job creation in the context of ensuring a ‘Just Energy Transition’.”
“Building a green, energy resilient future and enjoying the benefits of this will not be possible without partnerships across all levels of government as well as the private sector. The MOU signed today is a wonderful example of how we can work together and act to ensure a brighter future, based on economic growth which creates jobs,” the Minister added.
Wesgro, the Western Cape’s official tourism, trade, and investment promotion agency has also welcomed the MoU. “The world’s attention is on achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with over $130 trillion in investment into renewable energy and energy efficiency required to meet this target. At this pivotal moment, we have a unique opportunity to access a large piece of the investment pie. South Africa’s energy crisis has catapulted our capability in the global race for energy transition,” said Wesgro CEO Wrenelle Stander.
The Western Cape’s natural endowments of land, wind, solar, and ocean energy and the country’s existing petrochemical base can be leveraged for the competitiveness of a green hydrogen industry.