Hyphen, Govt agree on 24% equity stake

Benedict Libanda

After extensive preparations spanning several months, the government has successfully finalised an agreement in which it will acquire a 24% stake in the country’s first large-scale green hydrogen project.

On 22 December, Hyphen Hydrogen Energy announced that the government, via the SDG Namibia One fund, finalised a share subscription agreement.

To support this, the Hyphen project will be provided an initial 23 million euro (approximately N$467 million) in development funding.

Benedict Libanda, the chief executive of the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF), says by securing a 24% equity stake in the Hyphen green hydrogen project, the fund is not merely funding a project, but igniting Namibia’s path towards becoming a front-runner in global green hydrogen production.

“This milestone is also a stepping stone for green industrialisation in Namibia, marking our commitment to shaping a cleaner and more sustainable tomorrow,” he says.

SDG Namibia One is a government-driven fund which finances green hydrogen projects and infrastructure in Namibia.

The fund aims to gather US$1 billion from investors worldwide and in Namibia to support these initiatives.

The fund is jointly managed by Climate Fund Managers (CFM), a climate-centric blended finance fund manager, Dutch development financing institution Invest International and the EIF of Namibia.

The EIF’s involvement ensures direct access and ownership of the Namibian government in the project, whereas CFM and Invest International bring in the required institutional and funding capacity.

Andrew Johnstone, the chief executive of CFM, says green hydrogen has a pivotal and unique role to play in achieving net-zero targets by 2050.

“The Hyphen project, groundbreaking in both scale and impact, is a masterclass in how the public and private sectors can work together to unlock the potential of this exciting new sector, driving economic growth for Namibia and a greener, more resilient future,” he says.

Invest International chief executive Joost Oorthuizen said: “Today’s announcement reinforces Namibia’s position as a leader in the global green energy movement and the government’s continued commitment to realising the potential of the green hydrogen sector for all Namibians.”

The Hyphen project, which will be developed on 4 000km2 of land within the Tsau //Khaeb National Park, is Namibia’s first fully vertically integrated GW-scale green hydrogen project and the largest green hydrogen production project in sub-Saharan Africa.

Upon completion of phases 1 and 2, it is estimated that it would produce two million tonnes of green ammonia (a hydrogen derivative that is easier to transport) annually from ~7GW of predominantly wind and solar renewable energy generation capacity, and ~3GW of electrolyser capacity.

Hyphen’s chief executive, Marco Raffinetti, says the company is committed to establishing a new global benchmark for sustainable and fair development in large-scale green hydrogen projects through its collaboration with the government.

“Namibia’s equity stake and its management through this new fund is truly world-leading and provides a template for future projects in Namibia and abroad,” he says.

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