Hive Energy UK gaining traction with $5.8 billion green ammonia project in South Africa

  • Japan commits to helping facilitate international development funding, research and private sector participation to achieve a sustainable and affordable hydrogen and ammonia supply chain in South Africa.
  • A historic Memorandum of Cooperation between Japan and South Africa has been signed, recognising that South Africa has the capacity and ability to be an internationally competitive producer of hydrogen and green ammonia.
South Africa’s Historical Memorandum of Cooperation with Japan was celebrated in Tokyo at a Joint Workshop on Large Scale Hydrogen Projects. Colin Loubser, General Manager (Front row, grey suit and red tie) of Hive Hydrogen presented the Coega Green Ammonia Project.

South Africa’s Historical Memorandum of Cooperation with Japan was celebrated in Tokyo at a Joint Workshop on Large Scale Hydrogen Projects. Colin Loubser, General Manager (Front row, grey suit and red tie) of Hive Hydrogen presented the Coega Green Ammonia Project.

Hive Energy UK is playing the leading development role in Phase 1 of South Africa’s $5,8bn Green Ammonia project in Coega, Nelson Mandela Bay, to be commissioned in 2028. The plant will supply Japan, Korea, and Europe with over 900,000 tons a year, in the first of four phases, and Hive is confident that its Green Ammonia pricing for pre-2030 supply will be one of lowest globally. The first Japanese Investors have now started their due diligence to acquire a substantial stake in Hive’s Coega Green Ammonia Project and secure an offtake supply.

The Hive giga-scale project, with 1,200MW of Electrolysers to extract hydrogen from water, will benefit South Africa in many ways including creating over 20,000 jobs in an area with large unemployment and attracting other new industrial investors. Critically, in addition to its own 3,6GW of solar and wind plants, it will enable up to 9GW of other Independent Power Producer renewable energy projects to access the grid, helping to alleviate load shedding while decarbonising the grid, which is currently dominated by coal power generation. Most importantly, the Hive project is fully aligned with the Just Energy Transition that the country is committed to.

Giles Redpath, Hive Energy CEO, commented: “Hive has been working on renewable developments in Southern Africa since 2015 and on Green Hydrogen since 2018. It is encouraging to see how the South African Government has embraced the new green hydrogen industry. The opportunities this creates will enable our Coega green ammonia project to become a world-leading hub. When the production plant is commissioned in 2028, Green ammonia will be shipped from Nelson Mandela Bay to the Far East, and across the world. Our project will play a positive role in the partnership between South Africa and Japan as a source of renewable fuel supporting Japan’s world leading decarbonisation plans to power hard-to-abate industries, including supplying Green Ammonia for coal substitution in power stations and for maritime fuel to replace heavy fuel oil and diesel.”

Hive is developing eight green hydrogen/ammonia projects globally. Once complete, the Hive projects will have the capacity to produce some 8,500,000 tons of hydrogen/ammonia each year to support the global drive to net-zero emissions by 2050.

Hive Energy, headquartered in the UK, is the 75% stakeholder of Hive Hydrogen SA and is the principal funder and co-developer of the project. Hive Energy was founded in 2010 by Giles Redpath to participate in the significant solar PV expansion across England. The company now operates in 22 countries globally with its largest projects in Spain. The Hive Energy Group is recognised internationally as a trusted partner in the development, construction, and operation of large-scale renewable energy projects. Hive is known for its innovative approach and market leading vision across the renewable energy, circular economy and Green Hydrogen industries. Hive has established some of the world’s leading solar projects, including the UK’s largest solar park, and is developing one of the world’s largest Green Ammonia plants in South Africa and the first Green Hydrogen/Ammonia Hub in Spain. In addition to its eight giga-scale Green Hydrogen/ammonia projects, Hive is currently developing over 28,000 MW of renewable energy projects. To date, Hive’s projects have generated over £1.9billion capital expenditure in green energy projects, saving 1,013,903 tonnes of CO2 each year.

BuiltAfrica has a 25% stake in Hive Hydrogen South Africa and is a co-developer. It is a renewable energy development company based in South Africa and was founded by Thulani Gcabashe in 2009 as an investment and development business focused on sectors that support sustainable development. In its first 10 years the Group focused on developing renewable energy projects in South Africa, having successfully participated in the early rounds of renewable energy procurement under the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP). During this period two solar generation plants were built and are in operation. In addition to this the BuiltAfrica Group was involved in energy efficiency projects aimed at lowering peak demand on the power system.

Thulani Gcabashe served as Chairman of the Standard Bank Group, and the Standard Bank of South Africa from 2015 – 2022 and is the current chairman of Hive Hydrogen SA. He began his career as a town and regional planner in 1982. After practising as a director with a firm of architects and town planners he joined the national power utility Eskom in 1993. In 1999 he was appointed Deputy Chief Executive of Eskom, and Chairman Eskom Enterprises and served on the Eskom Management Board and the Electricity Council. In 2000 he become the Chief Executive of Eskom, a position He served until 30 April 2007. In 2008 he founded the BuiltAfrica Group and has served as the Executive Chairman since inception.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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