UK Confirms Grant Funded Technical Support for South Africa’s Green Hydrogen Plans

  • South Africa’s Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Blade Nzimande who has accompanied President Cyril Ramaphosa on his State Visit to the UK will be exploring regional development opportunities that can flow from the hydrogen economy as part of his trip.
  • The UK has confirmed that it will support South Africa’s green hydrogen plans with grant-funded technical assistance.
  • The assistance would be provided through the UK Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions (UK PACT) initiative in the form of grants.
  • Furthermore, a US$5 billion investment in developing a green ammonia plant in South Africa is expected to create local jobs.

Work underway to build a Hydrogen Hub in the Tees Valley has strong parallels with South Africa’s own plans to build a South African Hydrogen Valley.  In taking forward this co-operation, the South African government has been working closely with the UK2070 commission which is taking forward a 10-point plan to support regional growth across the UK.

In parallel with the visit, the UK’s Teesside University will conclude an agreement with South Africa’s Stellenbosch University deepening UK-South African academic collaboration on hydrogen, including academic co-operation and exchange and sharing best practice.  Teesside University has been at the forefront of efforts to build up the regional hydrogen economy working with industry partners.  The ambition is to broaden this co-operation with Teesside and Cardiff University in the New Year.

The UK government will also provide further technical assistance supporting South Africa’s hydrogen ambitions through the Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions (UK PACT) programme.

The UK PACT support has already enabled the sharing of expertise contributing to South African’s Hydrogen Society Roadmap and has funded soon to be released work on the employment opportunities and skills that will be needed in South Africa’s green hydrogen economy.

The growing hydrogen sector also presents increasing commercial opportunities.  Hive Energy’s US$5bn project to build a Green Ammonia Plant in South Africa has the potential to create green jobs in South Africa as well as economic opportunities for UK and other firms involved in the project.

Both the South Africa and the UK have recently published hydrogen strategies aimed at developing a thriving low carbon hydrogen sector.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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